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Dec 21, 2021 - 2:16:48 PM
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4229 posts since 12/3/2008

I am a lifelong musician with a background in concert performing and music therapy. In recent years, I have been collaborating with Gold Tone on some interesting projects - the Octajo, which is no longer available, being one of them. I appreciate this opportunity to document where the Octajo took me during its brief life and my short relationship with it. 

The Octajo represents a beautiful synthesis of banjo and mandolin family instruments. Strung with nylon strings, as in this video, the Octajo can have a sweet voice (especially for a banjo) with huge depth of tone.

When I was approached by Gold Tone to try to get something going with the Octajo, I specified that it be set up with a raised fingerboard (which I call a neck-lift) and nylon strings. When the instrument hit the market, it brought the house down...on itself, that is; people weren't exactly lining up around the block to buy it, and, as happens with experiments that don't take off, it vanished into thin air. I sold the one I had to an oud player who reached out to it as a crossover instrument. If it weren't for the fact that I swim in a bathtub full of instruments, I'd regret letting it go. It had a special voice, and now it's a collectors item (you never know when you're going to need an Octajo in the tub).

PS If you're interested in the possibility of a Gold Tone instrument and want to talk about it, feel free to reach out.
Paul (970) 731-3117
Gold Tone Musical Instruments http://www.banjocrazy.com


Edited by - Paul Roberts on 12/21/2021 14:17:32

Dec 21, 2021 - 6:42:43 PM

2883 posts since 3/30/2008

One of my favorite books is, "The Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments". It's full of obscure, extinct & superseded instruments. (Perhaps someone in the future will record a monster hit on the Octajo & you will be be lauded).

Dec 22, 2021 - 6:19:12 PM

4229 posts since 12/3/2008

@tdennis Thanks for your comment and for recommending The Encyclopedia of Musical Instruments. After you mentioned it I began rummaging around in my library, because it sounds familia, and I think I might have it. But, if I do, it doesn't appear to be immediately accessible. My own musical instrument explorations have had a tendency to go in obscure directions. In fact, when I began playing banjo, in the early 1960's, it seemed to me like a somewhat obscure instrument; still pretty fresh in those days.

Dec 22, 2021 - 6:58:22 PM
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2883 posts since 3/30/2008

This is the actual title of the book. "Musical instruments of the World", An Illustrated Encyclopedia. (1st pic 1997 edition, 2nd pic, 1968 edition)




Edited by - tdennis on 12/22/2021 19:02:35

Dec 22, 2021 - 7:15:10 PM
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4229 posts since 12/3/2008

tdennis
There it was, hiding in plain sight, a new copy sitting on my shelf. I think I gave it the 3-second flip-through one time. Thanks for mentioning it. The book has been transported to the living room where I will begin to peruse its contents in earnest. Perhaps we can discuss it on a special thread devoted to it. The contents certainly open an enormously wide spectrum of areas in which to delve.

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