Fratelli Vinaccia

Fratelli Vinaccia [Vinaccia Brothers] (mandolin)


The Vinaccia family was one of the most important mandolin makers in Italy during the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. Pasquale Vinaccia (1806-c.1885) was the main character in the innovation of the Neapolitan mandolin. His design, developed during the 1830 decade, remained as the standard in Europe for about 100 years. It is interesting to know that it was the kind of mandolin brought to Brazil by the colonists, particularly those coming from Italy. Pasquale extended the fingerboard and deepened the mandolin’s bowl giving the tonal quality more resonance; he strengthened and remodeled the instrument making it ready for the tension of the strings, that were then made of steel. Besides, he introduced the use of brass in place of wooden pegs. After his death, the factory continued with Achille, Federico, Gaetano, Gennaro, and Giuseppe Vinaccia.


Entry written by Paulo Sá, mandolin professor at the Music School of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Escola de Música da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro / UFRJ)