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New Milanese mandolin

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  The Milanese or baroque mandolin gradually developed with 6 of gut strings, tuned g b e' a' d" g". This in turn became the Lombardic mandolin (also called mandore) with 6 gut strings, still tuned g b e' a' d" g", from the beginning of the 19th century. It had a rounder body, raised fingerboard and often an oval sound hole, with no rosette.

Milanese mandolin, a 6 single stringed one, was popular in Italy. It had a long history and seemed to have already existed in late 1600. Antonio Monzino of Milan born in 1725 was a renowned maker of Milanese mandolins for 6 generations and some said that he is the one who invented this mandolin.

    My project to build a Milanese mandolin has been built around this instrument, which I was able to buy in pieces, and which I was therefore able to use to make templates for new instruments.
    Originally, gut strings were used for treble 3 strings, and silk wound with iron wire for the 3 bass strings. The following is a list of strings that can be easily obtained today for the Milanese mandolin. (Thanks to the Crane site for this list) 

2.0kg in average, except for 2.5kg on 1st.
g-b-e'-a'-d"-g" normal tuning

1st g2 : Gut 0.324mm, nylon 0.36mm, or fluorocarbon 0.277mm (3/2.5 gauge)
2nd d2 : Gut 0.40/0.36mm, nylon 0.44/0.42mm, or fluorocarbon 0.33mm (4 gauge)
3rd a1 : Gut 0.52mm, nylon 0.58mm, or fluorocarbon 0.44mm (7 gauge)
4th e1 : Gut 0.70mm, nylon 0.76mm, or fluorocarbon 0.57/0.62mm (12/14 gauge)
5th b : Gut 0.94mm, metal wound VN 5092, nylon 1.04mm, or fluorocarbon 0.79mm (22/24 gauge)
6th g : Gut 1.16mm or metal wound VN5116

For those who want to tune like a guitar (one octave higher).

1st e2 : Gut 0.36mm, nylon 0.42mm, or fluorocarbon 0.33mm (4/3 gauge)
2nd b1 : Gut 0.50mm, nylon 0.54mm, or fluorocarbon 0.41/0.44mm (6/7 gauge)
3rd g1 : Gut 0.62mm, nylon 0.68mm, or fluorocarbon 0.52mm (10gauge)
4th d1 : Gut 0.82mm, nylon 0.88mm, or fluorocarbon 0.70mm (18gauge)
5th a : Gut 1.08mm or metal wound VN5108
6th e : Gut 1.45mm or metal wound VN5145






Maple body, spruce top, mahogany/maple neck and ebony fingerboard, either flat or domed. Built in arm guard.

Scale length 353mm.

Compensated bridge.

Length 655mm, Width 280mm, depth 60mm.

Strung with bronze wound strings


Larger photos are available.


  Concert version in rosewood, with extended and domed fingerboard....

Youtube video