Mandolin Self Instructor, online tutorial - Page 06

A simplified self learning system for the Mandolin with tuning instruction, song folio, chord diagrams, sheet music and PDF for printing. By ZARH MYRON BICKFORD

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The shape of the bandurria is practically the same as the usual form of the flat mandolin, but there its similarity
ceases, it being strung with six double strings, with an entirely different tuning from the mandolin.
Shortly after this organization gained fame in America, a number of Italians in New York who had brought their
mandolins from Italy and played for pastime, but not professionally, seeing the success of the Spanish students, banded
themselves together, taking the name of Figaro Spanish Students, and, adopting similar costumes, embarked on a tour
of the country under the leadership of Carlos Curti, a well-known violinist.
The fact that this spurious "Spanish Students" organization used the Neapolitan mandolin and that they also made
a great success, accounts for the erroneous impression which was prevalent regarding the instruments used by the original
Spanish Students. After the return of the Figaro Students to Spain, the Italians, who had taken their name, disbanded
and located in various parts of the country. Practically the only mandolins known to be in this country at that time
were those belonging to these men and to other Italians coming here to locate. American tourists returning from Italy
also brought mandolins to this country, as tourists have in more recent times brought the ukulele from Hawaii, with
the result that the instrument soon became so popular that American manufacturers were obliged to meet the demand.
Mandolin clubs soon sprang up in various parts of the country and the instrument has experienced a steady growth,
which is bound to continue.
England and America have been the chief sponsors for the flat model of the instrument, which is tuned and played
exactly like the Neapolitan or classic model, and which is virtually the same instrument with a differently shaped body.
Some of the greatest composers the world has known have written for the mandolin. Handel, in his "Alexander
Balus," accompanies the song "Hark! Hark! He Strikes the Golden Lyre," with the mandolin, in conjunction with
other instruments. Mozart, in "Don Juan," used the mandolin alone for the elaborate and beautiful obligato to the
most famous song of the whole opera—the "Serenade."
Mozart also played the instrument and composed two beautiful songs with no other accompaniment than that of
the mandolin. These songs and the Serenade are included in a later volume of this Method. Beethoven also played the
mandolin and wrote for it, one of his compositions for this instrument with piano accompaniment appearing in this work.
Hummel, the great pianist, also played the mandolin and wrote a Sonata with piano and a Concerto with orchestra ac-
companiment for it. <Later composers who have honored the mandolin in their compositions include Verdi, in "Otello,"
Boito in "Mephistofeles," Gustav Mahler in his Seventh Symphony, Wolf-Ferrari in "Jewels of the Madonna," Spinelh
in "A Basso Porto," and Percy Grainger in a number of works. "A Basso Porto" had its first performance at Rome,
in 1895, the King and Queen of Italy and the nobility of Rome being present.
While the entire opera was a great success, it was said by those present that "the most effective and taking number
was the mandolin solo, written especially for the opera and performed by the celebrated mandolinist of Rome, Signor
G. B. Maldura, accompanied by the orchestra, several encores having been demanded."
There are many other serious composers, both past and present, who have deemed the mandolin worthy of their
efforts and this should furnish sufficient evidence that the instrument has a place among serious musical instruments
and that it possesses an originality which cannot be duplicated by any other instrument when certain effects are desired.
"Why music was ordained?
Was it not to refresh the mind of man
After his studies, or his usual pain?
Then give me leave to read philosophy,
And while I pause serve in your harmony."
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