Jake Wildwood demos a Milanese or Lombardic mandolin





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Uploaded on Nov 9, 2011

Here I'm doing a little improvisation on this c.1870s?-ish Carlo Albertini (Milan) instrument to show off its tone and feel.

I repaired this old Milanese mandolin recently and set it up in octave guitar tuning (EADGBE) with Aquila nylgut strings. This is slightly lower in pitch than the traditional GBEADG tuning but much more accessible to the modern player.

These instruments have much more in common with the modern mandolin's ancestors (various small lutes) being single-strung courses and traditionally using gut (modern: nylon/nylgut/fluorocarbon/what-have-you) strings. I know these were traditionally played with a cherry plectrum but I'm using an Ultex mid-weight one at first, then fingerpicking second.

Overall, I think this instrument would be an incredibly nice addition to an early music enthusiast's collection or also incredibly useful in a recording situation where a player wants a mandolin-ish high range but the sweet mellowness of a lute-family instrument.

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