The Origin of the Mandolin


 Mandolin Hiistory


Part I




Today, when we listen to the mandolin, we think of some of the famous bluegrass and country musicians associated with the instrument.  We consider Bill Monroe as the father of bluegrass and one of, if not, the one mandolin legend of recent times. Yet, the history of this fine instrument and its introduction to the western world, dates back to the popularity of the classical compositions and the famous composers who had a profound impact on music even today.


French Mandolin 1640 The mandolin has a rich and diverse history.  It cannot be considered as simply a bluegrass instrument.  Yet, it compliments a bluegrass band beautifully.  Many, may feel that the mandolin may no longer be popular in an orchestra of classical musicians, but its origin and historical intent seems to contradict that assumption. Various modern artists such as David Grisman demonstrated that the mandolin can serve both a purpose in a bluegrass band with an innovative jazz approach in the development of a style of music called "jazz grass".  The instrument truly is flexible and adaptable to many genres of music.


There is much to explore and research in order to fully understand how the mandolin originated and how musicians have influenced its sound throughout the history of music.  This article is only the first of many that has prepared to enlighten and help educate students, who not only want to play the mandolin but desire to learn about its history.



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