The CMSA Orchestra and Ensemble Starter Music Library
An important element of CMSA’s mission is to ‘promote the study and playing of the family of mandolin instruments and the playing of the music written for those instruments’. To that end, we offer the following selections of mandolin ensemble music to help ‘kick-start’ new groups.
These pieces have been used for years by our own Joyce Adams, a music instructor and first chair with the Baltimore Mandolin Orchestra. They are mostly in easy keys (C, G, D, A) and can be easily and successfully worked up to build ensemble confidence or prepared for performance!
Mandolin Family Music Notation Systems
Before we dive into the library, a word about notation systems. Much of the music in the starter library below is written in the standard clefs (treble and bass) you probably know well. However, a significant amount of it has been intentionally left in Universal notation.
The CMSA Nakano Memorial Library
An important element of CMSA’s mission is to ‘promote the study and playing of the family of mandolin instruments and the playing of the music written for those instruments’. Now, in addition to our Starter Music Library, CMSA is proud to offer one of the world’s largest troves of golden-age mandolin music, carefully collected over many years by Jiro Nakano.
Long unavailable, the Nakano Archive has been reloaded here, but with improvements in the indexing from the original Japanese version. Additionally, many typos and file name errors have been corrected so that the maximum number of titles from the original Archive could be made available.
CMSA is in the process of reviewing the Nakano files and it is the intention to only post public domain materials. If there is a file that is not in the PD, please get in touch with us. We will review the copyright status of the file, and delete if not public domain
Help us improve the Nakano Library.
A number of pieces of music in the Library need the titles translated from the Japanese. If you would be willing to help us with translations from Japanese, please contact us.
Many of the pieces in the Library were poorly copied or scanned and are difficult to read. If you download music from the Library and enter it into music transcription software (such as Finale or Sibeleus), please consider sharing your work with us all by sending a copy of the output as a .PDF file. These will be substituted into the Library for the poor originals.
Some of the music from the Nakano Library is under copyright, so will not be available.