Who hasn't heard of the mandolin that made its entry into Carnatic music in the late seventies and early eighties? Ever since, there has been no turning back. People who raised their eye-brows then and looked in askance at the capacity of the instrument to produce the Carnatic nuances have been stunned into speechlessness ever since. The Mandolin has come to stay. 

The Mandolin used in Indian music is the Western Mandolin, a small instrument that resembles a lute. This evolved in Italy around the 18th century. 


Construction: It usually has four pairs of strings that run over a fretted neck. However, the Indian version of Mandolin, which is not the conventional mandolin, uses just 5 strings. The strings are played with the fingers of the left hand and plucked with a plectrum held in the right hand.

Tuning: A few minor changes have been incorporated in the tuning, to suit the requirements of Carnatic music. It is tuned to the pitch of 1 kattai or C.

Posture: In accordance with the Indian custom, the artiste sits cross-legged and keeps the instrument across his lap.


Musical Expressions