Ukulele - Hawaii's Most Famous Musical Instrument

Ukelele ( spelled ukelele in britain, abbreviated to uke; pronounced yoo-kuh-ley-lee [American English] or oo-koo-ley-ley [original Hawaiian]) is a small, guitar-like lute with four to ten strings. Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele will be the Hawaiian interpretation of the Portuguese braguinha.

Hawaii's most famous guitar produces big tone and sweet sound. Ukuleles usually are available in 4 sizes: Soprano (or what Hawaiians describe as Standard size), Concert, Tenor , and Baritone. The Solid Body Cutaway is a modern innovation.

Ukuleles are generally created from wood, although there are a handful of models made of plastic or perhaps a composite of plastic and wood. Expensive models are made of hardwood (e.g.mahogany, kulawood, spruce, and sequoia), the more costly that are produced from koa tree.

A typical ukulele carries a figure 8 shape like this of a small beginners guitar. There's also other interesting shape variations for example oval (called pineapple ukulele), boat paddle, and square (usually made from a well used wooden cigar box).


Ukulele was exposed to the Hawaiians by Portuguese immigrants. To celebrate arriving on August 23, 1879, Joao Fernandes played Portuguese folk songs for the wharf by using a braguinha borrowed from the friend. Hawaiians who witnessed him about the dock where so impressed not merely with his music, but also with all the speed of his fingers: it seemed like they danced through the fingerboard. Hence, they called the instrument "ukulele," meaning "jumping flea."

(Queen Lili'uokalani, the final monarch of Hawaii, gave an alternative version for the origins of "ukulele". She thought ukulele meant "the gift that came here," from uku meaning "the gift" and lele meaning "to come.")

There was 419 immigrants aboard the ship Ravenscrag, but three people is the first to establish ukulele shops. They were Manuel Nunes, Augustine Dias, and Joao Fernandes.

Within Ten years as soon as the arrival with the Portuguese, the ukulele became Hawaii's most favored instrument. You are able to that Joao Fernandes would be a key behind this, as they spent considerable time messing around Honolulu together with his instrument.

Ukelele: A royal endorsement

It absolutely was also from Fernandes that King Kalakaua first heard

the background music from the ukulele, but he learned to learn it from Augusto Diaz. He encouraged it's played during royal gatherings. A patron of arts, King Kalakaua's enthusiasm over ukulele caused it to be more acceptable to the people of Hawaii. It turned out played by Hawaiian coming from all walks of life--- from taro farmers to fishermen to royalties. Other royalties who learned the best way to play included Queen Emma, Queen Lili'uokalani, Prince Leleihoku, and Princess Likelike.

In 1915, ukulele's popularity gone to live in the mainland while it began with San Francisco in the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Therefore, ukulele sales increased. As well as its sweet sound,

From US the mainland, ukulele transferred to the united kingdom and to the remainder of the world. The ukulele even became a symbol in the Jazz Age.

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