The mandola or tenor mandola is a fretted, stringed musical instrument. It is to the mandolin what the viola is to the violin, the four courses of strings tuned in fifths to the same pitches as the viola. The mandola, although now rarer, is the ancestor of the mandolin, the name mandola may originate with the ancient pandura, and was also rendered as mandora, the change perhaps having been due to approximation to the Italian word for almond. The instrument developed from the lute at a date, being more compact and cheaper to build. Historically related instruments include the mandore, mandole, vandola, bandola, bandora, however, significantly different instruments have at times and places taken on the same or similar names, and the true mandola has been strung in several different ways. The mandola has four courses of metal strings, tuned in unison rather than in octaves. The scale length is typically around 42 cm, the mandola is typically played with a plectrum. The double strings accommodate a sustaining technique called tremolando, an alternation of the plectrum on a single course of strings. The mandola is commonly used in folk music—particularly Italian folk music and it is sometimes played in Irish traditional music, but the instruments octave mandola, Irish bouzouki and modern cittern are more commonly used. It is tuned like a viola CGDA, like the guitar, the mandola can be acoustic or electric. Attila the Stockbroker, punk poet and frontman of Barnstormer, uses an electric mandola as his main instrument, alex Lifeson, guitarist of Rush, has also featured the mandola in his work. Mandolas are often played in orchestras, along with other members of the mandolin family, mandolin, mandocello. Sometimes the octave mandolin is included as well, Mandolin Mando-bass Octave mandola - Tuned an octave below the mandolin Mandocello - Tuned an octave below the mandola Irish bouzouki Troughton, John. Mandolin Manual, The Art, Craft and Science of the Mandolin, united States, Crowood Press, Limited, The. The Tenor Mandola Chord Bible, CGDA Standard Tuning 1,728 Chords, Chords for Mandolin, Irish Bango, Bouzouki, Mandola, Mamdocello. — A chord book featuring 20 pages of popular chords, the Mandolin Page theMandolinTuner, a mandolin site focusing on mandolin tuning, chords and tabs
A Genoese mandola, c. 1700s.
L-R - Banjo-mandolin, standard mandolin, 3-course mandolin, Tenor mandola.