Folk & Acoustic Musical Instrument Specialists

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Mandola Information and FAQs


Italian lute, now popular with celtic musicians. Originally bowl backed, now often has a flat back like a cittern and 8 strings.


The Mandola (the big brother of the Mandolin), has 8 strings in 4 pairs, tuned in 5ths. The Mandola retains the high-tension stringing but allows lower parts to be played. The Tenor Mandola (or Mandola) is tuned as a Viola, CGDA, one fifth below a mandolin. Octave Mandolas (also known as Octave Mandolins in America) are popular because of their suitability for Acoustic and Celtic music, being tuned GDAE, an octave below a Mandolin. Because the Octave Mandola neck is shorter than a Bouzouki it is easier to finger, but the strings are heavier.




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Definition: Large mandola tuned CGDA one octave below normal.
Introduction: Mandocello and Mandobass

The Mandocello is tuned CGDA one octave below the Mandola (however most of them will stand being tuned in GDAE like a bouzouki, using lighter strings). The Mando Bass is a rare beast, but the examples we have had have been tuned the same as a String Bass EADG

Try the instruments for yourself! We keep a huge and varied stock of new and secondhand instruments.


Definition: 1) small, portable, bellow-blown reed organ used in India; player usually sits on ground, one hand fingering keyboard, other pumping bellows. 2) European and American Harmoniums have a pedestal, and foot pedals to pump the bellows. The player sits in a chair and uses both hands!
Read the full Other Free Reed FAQ Page.