Type: Chordophones > Composites > Lute.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 321.321.6
Inventor: Jean Bélido.
Region: North Africa.
Description: The Algerian mandole [mandol, mondol] is steel-stringed fretted instrument resembling an elongated mandolin having a slightly longer neck and wider body. The mandole is widely used in Algerian music such as Chaabi, Kabyle music and Nuubaat [Andalusian classical music].
Etymology: The name can cause confusion, as “mandole” is a French word for mandola, the instrument from which the Algerian mandole developed. The Algerian mandole is not however a mandola, but rather like a mandocello.
The instrument has also been called a “mandoluth” when describing the instrument played by the Algerian-French musician, Hakim Hamadouche. However, the luthier for one of Hakim’s instruments describes it as a mandole.
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Construction: It can have eight, ten, or twelve strings in doubled courses and may have additional frets between frets to provide quarter tones. A variation is to have the thickest strings be single strings instead of double courses. Sound hole is typically diamond shaped, but can be round, and sometimes with rosettes.
Instruments have been created with a scale length [650 mm] or [25.5 inches], but also as long as 27 inches. Overall instrument length is approximately 990 mm or about 39 inches. Width 340 mm [about 13.4 inches], depth 75 mm [about 3 inches].
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