The mandolin is a small string musical instrument with a short neck,
having 8 strings in four courses and played with a plectrum.
Each of the two strings of a course are tuned in unison.
It is tuned the same as a fiddle.
The length of the mandolin is
about 60 cm (2 feet).
As the mandolin does not have much sustain (that is, once plucked, a note does not
continue to ring very long), continuous tremolo (rapid back-and-forth
picking of one note) is often used. This is the sound many people most associate with the instrument.