Mudcat Café message #3185390 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #139012   Message #3185390
Posted By: PHJim
11-Jul-11 - 09:42 AM
Thread Name: Review: Cello Banjo
Subject: RE: Review: Cello Banjo
       Instrument nomenclature is pretty non-standardized. Even vocal ranges in bluegrass/old timey music calls the melody line the "lead", the third harmony the "tenor" whether it's above or below the lead and the fifth harmony is baritone, whether it's above or below the other voices. The violin and mandolin families have instruments that correspond to each other - violin/mandolin, viola/mandola, cello/mandocello and bass violin/mandobass. A mandolin that is tuned an octave below a standard mandolin is called an octave mandolin (OM)in North America, but is called an octave mandola in many European countries. In North America an octave mandola would be an octave below a mandola.
The naming of all of these long necked mandolins is far from standardized. The names OM, bouzouki, cittern, octophone, blarge,... all refer to these types of instruments. Toronto luthier Grit Laskin called all of his mando-type instruments "long-necked mandolins". I've also heard them called "mandothings" and "monster-mandolins".
Short scale 4-string banjos are often called "tango banjos" and short scaled 5-string banjos are called "banjorines" or "pony banjos".