The original mandolin with it's characteristic
convex sound body, was an Arab instrument
made by placing a resonance board or mem-
brane upon a gourd which was strung with
silk and played as non with a plictrum or
"pick" of shell or bone. At the time of the Crusades,
it found its way westward into Italy, where the
familiar instrument of to-day was perfected and where
it is considered the instrument of the nobility. The
Dowager Queen of Italy prides herself on being a
It is the tremolo that gives to the mandolin its
characteristic singing tone, which the Venetians so
revel in at twilight, skimming their gondolas through
the waters of Venice.
Mr. Abt, the celebrated American mandolinist,
succeeds in placing the mandolin alongside the violin
as a musical instrument. The lingering of the two is
practically identical, and the chief difference lies in
the use of the plectrum for the one and the bow for
the other. Sohne, the violinist, produces a sustained
tone with, his bow, the mandolinist makes a tremolo
by rapid vibration of the plectrum across all the
strings. Chords, harmonics, melody with accompani-
ment, can all be played with ease upon the mandolin,
as seen from the repertoires of Abt and Putine, the
Italian artist, which includes such masterpieces as
Mendelssohn's Concerto, Op. 64, Chopin's Valse, Op.
64, No. 1,. Paganini's Tarantule, etc.
Patricia A. Brazill.