Friday, December 18, 2015

My Mandolin Christmas Wish

One thing on my Christmas list is to see colleges initiate a mandolin performance major. As far as I know such a major is nonexistent in the United States. The mandolin is too little known and played in classical music, and in other forms of music, and it deserves a greater audience.
People mainly hear mandolin in the 21st century mainly in bluegrass music, but it played a strong role in music of the Baroque period, many composers having written for it, as shown in the book "The Early Mandolin" by James Tyler and Paul Sparks. The mandolin family -- mandolin, mandola, octave mandolin, mandocello and mandobass -- thrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when nearly every city in this country had a mandolin orchestra, playing light classical and popular music of the time. The mandolin family can serve a strong role in classical music, theater music, and other forms of music where it is little appreciated, and besides the mandolin family, this major could include the four-string banjo, whose tuning resembles that of the mandolin.