©2016 Orchestra Mandolinistica Città di Torino
The Orchestra Mandolinistica Città di Torino was founded in 1973, but its origin dates back to the meeting between Franco Zangirolami and Giacomo Gai, which occurred one evening in November 1971 in a totally random. Tells Zangirolami that night, returning home with his mandolin, he met Gai, who lived in his own palace; the latter seeing him with an instrument became curious: he himself was a music lover (he played the mandolin, mandola and guitar), and proposed him to play some songs together.
Since then, between Franco and Giacomo began a collaboration destined to last over time. The two friends who met in the attic of Giacomo weekly, to engage in the performance of various songs, soon joined by the son of Giacomo,
Franco with his guitar, and later Amerigo Forlaj, Giuseppe Ricco (mandolin) and Fortunato Trucco (guitar) under the leadership of the conductor Gambino, teacher of guitar of Franco. These soon were joined by Giajetto and Tessuto, from the Orchestra of Stipel.
It thus constituted the first music group, which took the name of "
Sempre 'n piota" with a vast repertoire. In 1973, the name was changed to "Orchestra Mandolinistica". Since April 2, 1974 was granted permission to use the name "Mandolinistica Città di Torino" through the efforts of a former member of the Orchestra (Bignardi), which as a result of an accident he could no longer participate actively, and later (1981) the group was registered as a non-profit Association.
Soon the conductor Luciano Camandona replaced Gambino in the direction of the Orchestra and Daniele Baldo, contrabassist, joined the musicians, even with the task of harmonizing the songs to be included in the repertoire. Baldo replaced Camandona as a conductor after his death, to leave then the place to Armando Valsania.
The Orchestra from then on had a constant evolution, which transformed it from the group of enthusiasts of plectrum instruments in the
group musically more mature and able, thanks to the contribution of the conductors that have occurred over time: Armando Valsania, Vito Griva ( RAI), Luciano Mazzola and Remo Barnava, current conductor.
The history of Mandolinistica Città di Torino is intertwined very closely with the history of the
Montanaro orchestras.
Montanaro Canavese had a long tradition of mandolin: after the small plectrum orchestra founded in 1898 by master Enria, in the '30s two formations were simultaneously present in the area, conducted respectively by Giovanni Catullo Bioletto and Giovanni Clara.
Several orchestrals of Montanaro is inserted in Mandolinistica Città di Torino, in the various phases of its birth and growth, giving rise to a
long and fruitful collaboration, renewed in recent times: to emphasize the close link, the newly recorded CD by the Orchestra was registered at the Madonna di Loreto Sanctuary of Montanaro, with the technical and professional contribution of an inhabitant of Montanaro: Roberto Ricco.
In its long evolution, the Orchestra enjoyed moments particularly happy from the artistic point of view. In the '80s it performed for an entire month at the
Teatro Alfieri with Mario Ferrero acting company (on a daily basis and double show on Sundays), at the Turin "Salone dell'Automobile", and abroad: in Ugine (France), in Chambery at the Opera House, in Albertville.
About travel abroad, there are plenty of anecdotes. The orchestra left for the first concert in Ugine a winter morning, and was blocked by snow near Pré Saint Didier. Climatic conditions made possible the return in Turin only in the following night, but that did not stop the musicians to enjoy a typical "valdostano" dinner in Aosta, in a tavern miraculously open at midnight, prepared willingly by the owner in exchange for an impromptu concert.
In 1991, on the initiative of Zangirolami, began the "
Rassegna Mandolinistica" that drew in Turin the most important orchestras (Asti, Bolzano, Lugano, Ugine, Monte Carlo, ...) for thirteen consecutive years.
The rest is recent history: the many concerts at various venues, the educational commitment to the formation of new mandolin players, the inclusion of new orchestral.
Currently the Orchestra is made up of
about 25 elements divided into first mandolins, second mandolins, mandolas, guitars and double bass, with contribution of percussion and flute. Orchestra's objective is to maintain the culture of plectrum musical instruments, keeping alive the tradition continues with a concert activity, often dedicated to charitable purposes (concerts for the elderly, to care community, to collect funds to support humanitarian causes).
Remo Barnava is the current conductor of the Orchestra .
Born in Turin,
graduated in piano at the Conservatorio of Alessandria, for years it was music consultant for the Rai italian television, is concerned not only the direction but also the arrangement of the songs for mandolin orchestra.
intensive research, adaptation and arrangement for mandolin orchestra, of classic and modern songs, made ​​possible the constant enrichment of the repertoire, with proposals that meet the favor of the public and which at the same time promoting the evolution and growth of the Orchestra.
The mandolin is an ancient instrument that originated and developed in the sixteenth century. Similar to a mandola (of which it is a variety), it was and still is widely used especially in southern Italy and, more specifically, in the Naples area .
Its particular sound box releases a melodious sound that makes it a unique music instrument of its kind .
In addition to the classic mandolin, called "Napoletano" (with four double strings, in Baroque or concert version), there are other types such as the "Milanese" mandolin (more ancient origins, with five or six double strings) and the "Genovese baroque" mandolin.

In G clef
The international repertoire for mandolin music is almost unlimited, being able to adapt to this instrument various types of music. Despite being a popular instrument, it has also been employed in the so-called "cultured music", and sometimes even in the opera. The same Antonio Vivaldi composed a concerto for mandolin and one for two mandolins and orchestra .
The clef used to play the mandolin is the G clef (more commonly called the treble clef) . The instrument itself is made from a resonating body and a neck .

The neck
It is the most simple part of the mandolin: is about 40 cm long and is covered with a fingerboard with 29 frets, delimited by stainless steel metal parts. At the end of the neck there is the headstock, with a mechanism that allows the tuning of the instrument using the screws in which the strings are attached.

The resonating body
Like all classic stringed instruments, the resonating body is provided with a sound hole in which the vibration of the strings is amplified, producing a sweet and delicate sound. Near this hole is positioned a bridge with the slots for the positioning of the strings, that are then clamped to the end of the resonating body by little hooks.  

The strings
There are four couples of strings, and 2 adjacent strings are tuned in unison. The common tuning is:
First (highest tone) course: E5
Second course: A4
Third course: D4
Fourth (lowest tone) course: G3

The position of these strings on the neck is the following: the E is the lowest one; then there are A, D and G; each string allows to play four tones pressing as many frets on the handle and at the same time making the strings vibrate with the help of a plectrum .
The material of which the strings are made can be metal alloy or plastic fibers.

The plectrum
The plectrum is simply a kind of nail with which you play the mandolin: it is of great help to run the famous and characteristic tremor, which has made ​​this instrument famous around the world.
Generally the plectrum is made of plastic, but the best are those made in tortoise shell, that for its hardness make it even more clear sound .
The plectrum is held between the thumb and forefinger to 1/3 of its length and with the flick of your wrist you have to hit the rope from top down and from the bottom up. The more you run fast this moving, the sound will be perfect without false notes.

Woods for the construction
Resonating body: Flamed maple
Sound board: Spruce from Val di Fiemme
Neck: Flamed maple
Fingerboard: Ebony

Sound techniques
In order to play mandolin must have a good knowledge of music in all its aspects, because no chords are executed, but only single notes; then the base to be a good mandolinist is for the most part in a good ability of music theory, that you can get by reading out loud sheet music, enunciating the tempo and the value of the notes.
Many people underestimate this instrument instead also includes several years of study even in conservatoire, because at the base there must be a thorough knowledge of music.