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There has also been a twelve-string (three strings per course) type and an instrument with sixteen-strings (four strings per course).Much of mandolin development revolved around the soundboard (the top).Mandolins evolved from the lute family in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the deep bowled mandolin, produced particularly in Naples, became common in the 19th century. 13,000 BC, a cave painting in the Trois Frères cave in France depicts what some believe is a musical bow, a hunting bow used as a single-stringed musical instrument.In turn, this led to being able to play dyads and chords.; literally "small mandola") is a stringed musical instrument in the lute family and is usually plucked with a plectrum or "pick".
He felt that the harp bow was a long cry from the sophistication of the 4th-century BC civilization that took the primitive technology and created "technically and artistically well made harps, lyres, citharas and lutes." Musicologists have put forth examples of that 4th-century BC technology, looking at engraved images that have survived.
The pandura, a lute the Romans brought to Spain, was also strung with three strings, and later called trichordon by musicologists.
Beside the introduction of the lute to Spain (Andalusia) by the Moors, another important point of transfer of the lute from Arabian to European culture was Sicily, where it was brought either by Byzantine or later by Muslim musicians.
When the Moors conquered Andalusia in 711 AD, they brought their ud along, into a country that had already known a lute tradition under the Romans, the pandura.
During the 8th and 9th centuries, many musicians and artists from across the Islamic world flocked to Iberia.