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]) can be a small, guitar-like lute with four to ten strings. Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele could be the Hawaiian interpretation of the Portuguese braguinha.

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

Ukuleles are typically made from wood, nevertheless, there are a couple of models made from 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 ones are made from koa tree.

A standard ukulele includes a figure 8 shape prefer that of an small beginners guitar. In addition there are other interesting shape variations for example oval (called pineapple ukulele), boat paddle, and square (usually created from a well used wooden cigar box).


Ukulele was delivered to the Hawaiians by Portuguese immigrants. To celebrate their arrival on August 23, 1879, Joao Fernandes played Portuguese folk songs around the wharf employing a braguinha borrowed from the friend. Hawaiians who witnessed him for the dock where so impressed not just regarding his music, but also with all the speed of his fingers: i felt like they danced across the fingerboard. Hence, they referred to as the instrument "ukulele," meaning "jumping flea."


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

There have been 419 immigrants aboard the ship Ravenscrag, but three people could be the first to determine ukulele shops. These were Manuel Nunes, Augustine Dias, and Joao Fernandes.

Within 10 years as soon as the arrival of the Portuguese, the ukulele became Hawaii's most popular instrument. It is known that Joao Fernandes would have been a key behind this, as he spent lots of time messing around Honolulu along with his instrument.

Ukelele: A royal endorsement

It absolutely was also from Fernandes that King Kalakaua first heard

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

In 1915, ukulele's popularity gone after the mainland beginning in San Francisco during the Panama Pacific International Exposition. Because of this, ukulele sales increased. In addition to its sweet sound,

From US the mainland, ukulele gone to live in the UK also to all of those other world. The ukulele even became a symbol in the Jazz Age.

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