The mandolin is a short-necked
lute with four pairs of steel strings tuned like a
violin. The first instruments of this type can be seen in pictures
from the 15th century, although the name 'Mandolin' was not used
until the 17th century. Today, the mandolin is popular in bluegrass
and traditional folk music. As a soloist instrument, the mandolin is
usually played 'pontiado' being the soprano's voice in a larger
group of instruments.
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