Welcome to vantichelen.name. This site is meant as a blog to share insights and finds about mandolin history.


The mandolin in München ca. 1840-60 part 1: Pierre Moralt, Le rêve d’un bal (München, ca. 1855)

I’m studying a sizeable number of manuscripts I recently retrieved. One of these is so exciting I couldn’t wait to publish about it and I have rushed getting out a blog post and edition. (Hence some other ongoing work will be taking longer.) It’s unlikely anything in the current mandolin literature and extremely interesting, both …

Wranitzky and Lehmann, Variations on “Ich bin liederlich” for violin or mandolin and guitar (Vienna, 1809)

During my research of late 18th and early 19th-century Viennese mandolin history, I stumbled upon a previously unknown violin/mandolin and guitar variation sequence. In this blog post, we will first look at the publication which contains this set I discovered. Next, we will discuss a violin variation sequence which I have traced as its origin. …


Pieter Van Tichelen first laid eyes on a mandolin at the age of 6 and never recovered. After graduating with high honours at the music academy of Brasschaat, he pursued studies in musicology at the Unversity of Leuven. In 2000 he graduated magna cum laude to a Master’s degree in Musicology on a theses about 17th century mandolin history. Afterwards he took some mandolin classes at the Tilburg Cathorlic Conservatory with professor Benny Ludemann.

Pieter has enjoyed playing the mandolin with several of Belgium’s symphonic and opera orchestras (Vlaamse Opera, De Munt, VRT-orkest etc.). He also recorded several CD’s as session musician, and for a few years played in a Dutch-Belgian folk ensemble (Aerdewerck). For about 15 years he formed a permanent mandolin-guitar duo with guitarist Johan Dias, which occasionally still performs. Pieter is also a member of the mandolin orchestra of Brasschaat (Brasschaats Mandoline-Orkest).

As specialist in musicology and mandolin history, Pieter has uncovered several manuscripts and prints with parts for mandolin who were either though lost or even completely unknown. He was honoured twice with a guest professorship at the Antwerp Music Conservatory to teach early mandolin history (to ca. 1850). To this day he’s also a permanent member of the International Symposium of Mandolin History.

Also check out mandolinhistory.org

Part of my time in investigating mandolin history is also spent on an ongoing effort to document the historical sources. It is a huge undertaking and I won’t always have enough time to continuously add new items. However, with a planned update of the site I will likely reduce maintenance and updates will become easier (and hopefully more frequent). Over the year, mandolinhistory.org should become a haven for any mandolin enthusiast who wants to know more.