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The Tenor Mandola

At my last show I got to play Cate's new octave mandolin (known as the "Tenor Mandola" in Ireland) and I wondered what the tuning was supposed to be on it having never played one before. This led to the following investigation:

The 'cello (and viola) as well as the violin (and so, mandolin) are tuned in fifths (CGDA for cello and viola, and GDAE for the violin). The bass and the guitar (except for the B string) are tuned in fourths (EADG and EADGBE respectively). These last two instruments draw lineage through the Viol de Gamba (literally viol for the leg) which was an early 'cello and the Vihuela, an early form of guitar. The Viol and the Vihuela were both gut-stringed instruments and the tuning in fourths was more akin to that used in the lute. The Tenor Mandola is tuned as a mandolin only an octave lower, and so is tuned in fifths (as Cate had pointed out to me at the time ;).

Tuning in fifths was a later development and there were several reasons for it I've found:

References: Why do we tune in 5ths? The Octave Mandolin Scordatura (Mistuning)