Ukulele - Hawaii's Most Famous Musical Instrument

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

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

Ukuleles are typically made of wood, however, there are a few models made of plastic or even a composite of plastic and wood. Expensive models are made from hardwood (e.g.mahogany, kulawood, spruce, and sequoia), the most expensive that are manufactured from koa tree.

An average ukulele carries a figure 8 shape prefer that of your small classical 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 taken to the Hawaiians by Portuguese immigrants. To celebrate their arrival on August 23, 1879, Joao Fernandes played Portuguese folk songs around the wharf using a braguinha borrowed coming from a friend. Hawaiians who witnessed him around the dock where so impressed not merely along with his music, but in addition with the speed of his fingers: it seemed like they danced through the fingerboard. Hence, they referred to as the instrument "ukulele," meaning "jumping flea."

(Queen Lili'uokalani, the final monarch of Hawaii, gave some other 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. These were Manuel Nunes, Augustine Dias, and Joao Fernandes.

Within Ten years after the arrival in the Portuguese, the ukulele became Hawaii's most favored instrument. It is said that Joao Fernandes was obviously a key behind this, because he spent time and effort playing around Honolulu with his instrument.

Ukelele: A royal endorsement

It was also from Fernandes that King Kalakaua first heard

the music activity in the ukulele, but he learned to play it from Augusto Diaz. He encouraged it had become played during royal gatherings. A patron of arts, King Kalakaua's enthusiasm over ukulele made it 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 you can play included Queen Emma, Queen Lili'uokalani, Prince Leleihoku, and Princess Likelike.

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

From US the mainland, ukulele transferred to the UK also to the rest of the world. The ukulele even became a symbol with the Jazz Age.

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