|Bowl Back noun \ˈbōl ˈbak\
00:39"Bowl Back" is a term that refers to a fretted instrument back, usually of a mandolin, in the rounded shape of a bowl or melon. It's made in the rounded "bowl" form of lutes and other ancient instruments. The back is formed with multiple "staves" or "ribs" shaped much like barrel staves.
As a general rule, bowl back instruments have a "sweet" sound with a bit of echo. They lack the power of a flat or carved back because the bowl does not vibrate to reinforce the sound.
Sometimes Bowl Back mandolins are called "tater bug mandolins" because when viewed in profile, they can resemble the fat body of that insect.
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LAST UPDATED 05-05-2016 05:44