Mandobass

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Mandobass
Classification

String instruments

Plucked string instrument
Related instruments

Mandobass is the largest member of the mandolin family, sometimes used as bass instruments in mandolin orchestras.

Variants[edit]

There are three main variants of the mandobass:

  • The large four-string mandobass has a much longer neck and is tuned EADG, like a double bass. It was popular in early 20th century American and European mandolin ensembles. Early examples had very large bodies and were often played in an upright position like a double bass is. Later examples often have smaller bodies and are intended to be played guitar style.[citation needed]
  • The small four-string mandobass is identical, but built on a smaller scale and usually tuned GDAE, two octaves below the mandolin. Though not as resonant as the larger instrument, payers often preferred it as easier to handle and more portable.[citation needed]
  • The eight-string mandobass, or tremolo-bass,[citation needed] relatively rare, is built exactly like a mandolin but is much larger and tuned either GDAE, two octaves lower than the mandolin, or CGDA, two octaves below the mandola.

History[edit]

Calace and other Italian makers that predate the Gibson company made mandolin-basses. The Gibson company made a large mandobass in the early twentieth century. Reportedly, most mandolin orchestras preferred to use the ordinary double bass, rather than a specialised mandolin family instrument.[citation needed]

See also[edit]