Global Mandolin Project: A Search for Identity

Global Mandolin Project: A Search for Identity


Jacob Means



The Global Mandolin Project: A Search for Identity, is a project that attempts to answer a simple question: Where did the mandolin come from, and where is it going? My mission with this project, is to contribute to propelling the mandolin forward and expanding the scope of mandolin music. In order to do this, I examined significant historical contributions to music that is played on the mandolin to better understand the cross-cultural influences that shape the instrument and its music. After this initial research of the mandolin and the social and economic conditions which led to its development, I internalized and reinterpreted musical characteristics from four cultures: Africa, Italy, Scotland, & Brazil. Each of these cultures impacted the development of mandolin music in a significant way. I then worked compositionally and improvisationally to synthesize this information through my artistic process, materializing musical influences I've experienced in a personal way. In completing this process, I sense a deeper connection to a global community and to myself. My hope is for my audience to share this increased understanding, and help bring teamwork, perseverance, accountability, equality, and social responsibility to each other's lives.

Publication Date



Boston Campus


Project Components: paper (.pdf), presentation (.pdf), audio files (ZIP file containing 4 .mp3 files), scores (ZIP file containing 4 .pdf documents).

Global Mandolin Project: A Search for Identity