The mandolin first originated in Naples, Italy in the 15th century. It was adapted from the lute. The mandolin is an eight-stringed instrument similar to other instruments such as the balalaika, bouzouki, bandolim and the dambura. Musical instrument companies Martin and Gibson sold mandolins starting around 1890 using traveling salesman.
The mandolin is a versatile instrument that is currently popular in all types of music, including country, bluegrass, rock, folk, jazz, ethnic and classical. It is a fairly easy instrument to learn and therefore a good instrument for people interested in more traditional instruments. The mandolin enjoys a rich tradition in countries around the world.