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Heyday Of The Mandolin Orchestra

Mike Mullins Interviews

Heyday Of The Mandolin Orchestra

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(Strumming the guitar)
Hello and welcome to another chapter of Acoustic Snapshots kind of doing a Mandolin series for a while and we’re talking about all things Mandolin big and small. And right now I wanted to touch on something that was quite of phenomenal in this country. Well about 90’a hundred years ago Mandolin orchestras kind of took the country by storm and they were springing up all over the place and not sure what causes phenomenons probably because their wasn’t a whole lot else to do and the Mandolin was pretty accessible instrument. It was very popular and people generally had a Mandolin in the house for all walks of life and somebody would pick it up and play it. And these orchestras just began starting of as community events and anybody can join you know, you didn’t have to be a great player anything, they we’re just put you in the back if you weren’t very good.
But it’s very common to see all photographs of this huge groups of people holding Mandolins ranging from really inexpensive series robot type of…Bach models although we have to find a Gibson instruments and you can kind of look at this photos and get a little sense of, well I don’t know how serious people were abot their playing or just you could tell the people more or less the concert masters their generally in the front holding better great instruments and then you look towards the back you see kids and people who have just kind of their and have a good time. And it was interesting it was lastly quite a while the Mandolin orchestra face lasted for about let say, it started in the early 20th century and was really hit big between about 1910 and 1920.
And it was really quite an thing there were some very good ones that were actually go around touring but the local ones would ususally end up playing down at the local park infront of the Gazeebo in the band stand. And they play rags, marches and other music at the time that was popular this was long before the little grass music folks, so the Mandolin hadn’t even been fought on the,,,even country music and this is all Mandolin was kind of intended to be sort of a Classical and a Contemporary music instrument. And so this lasted until about 1920 and then not sure what happen Hawaiian music I think began becoming really popular at that time at then Ukeleles is kind of took over and Mandolin sort of just went….(pook), bottomed out you know few people still play them and then country musicians in the 20s and 30s were started to discover them. But,I guess the advent of Hawaiian music and the advent of movies and talking motion pictures sort of contributed to the demies of the Mandolin orchestra; which was quite a community event in its day. So there you have a little bit of Mandolin history courtesy of Acoustic Snapshots. We’ll see you next time.
(Strumming the guitar)

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