Ukulele

The ukulele (/ˌjuːkəˈleɪli/ YOO-kə-LAY-lee; from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ], approximately OO-koo-LEH-leh) or ukelele[1] is a member of the guitar family of instruments. It generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings.[2][3] Some strings may be paired in courses, giving the instrument a total of five, six, or eight strings.

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete,[4] a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, mainly from Madeira and the Azores. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century and from there spread internationally.

The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.

Ukulele
Ukulele1 HiRes
Martin 3K Ukulele
String instrument
Classification String instrument (plucked, nylon stringed instrument usually played with the bare thumb and/or fingertips, or a felt pick)
Hornbostel–Sachs classification321.322
(Composite chordophone)
Developed19th century
Related instruments

History

The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea",[5] perhaps because of the movement of the player's fingers. Legend attributes it to the nickname of the Englishman Edward William Purvis, one of King Kalākaua's officers, because of his small size, fidgety manner, and playing expertise. One of the earliest appearances of the word ukulele in print (in the sense of a stringed instrument) is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations published in 1907. The catalog describes two ukuleles from Hawaii: one that is similar in size to a modern soprano ukulele, and one that is similar to a tenor (see § Types and sizes).[6]

Developed in the 1880s, the ukulele is based on several small guitar-like instruments of Portuguese origin, the machete,[4] the cavaquinho, the timple, and the rajão, introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira and Cape Verde.[7] Three immigrants in particular, Madeiran cabinet makers Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, are generally credited as the first ukulele makers.[8] Two weeks after they disembarked from the SS Ravenscrag in late August 1879, the Hawaiian Gazette reported that "Madeira Islanders recently arrived here, have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts."[9]

One of the most important factors in establishing the ukulele in Hawaiian music and culture was the ardent support and promotion of the instrument by King Kalākaua. A patron of the arts, he incorporated it into performances at royal gatherings.[10]

Kamaka Ukulele or just Kamaka is a family-owned Hawaii-based maker of ukuleles, founded in 1916, that is often credited with producing some of the world's finest ukuleles, and created the first pineapple ukulele.

Canada

In the 1960s, educator J. Chalmers Doane dramatically changed school music programs across Canada, using the ukulele as an inexpensive and practical teaching instrument to foster musical literacy in the classroom.[11] 50,000 schoolchildren and adults learned ukulele through the Doane program at its peak.[12] Today, a revised program created by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane continues to be a staple of music education in Canada.

Japan

The ukulele came to Japan in 1929 after Hawaiian-born Yukihiko Haida returned to the country upon his father's death and introduced the instrument. Haida and his brother Katsuhiko formed the Moana Glee Club, enjoying rapid success in an environment of growing enthusiasm for Western popular music, particularly Hawaiian and jazz. During World War II, authorities banned most Western music, but fans and players kept it alive in secret, and it resumed popularity after the war. In 1959, Haida founded the Nihon Ukulele Association. Today, Japan is considered a second home for Hawaiian musicians and ukulele virtuosos.[13]

United Kingdom

British singer and comedian George Formby was a ukulele player, though he often played a banjolele, a hybrid instrument consisting of an extended ukulele neck with a banjo resonator body. Demand surged in the new century because of its relative simplicity and portability.[14] Another British ukulele player was Tony Award winner Tessie O'Shea, who appeared in numerous movies and stage shows, and was twice on The Ed Sullivan Show, including the night The Beatles debuted in 1964.[15] The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain tours globally, and the George Formby Society, established in 1961, continues to hold regular conventions.

United States mainland

Ukulele Craze 1916 Glackens
1916 cartoon by Louis M. Glackens satirizing the current ukulele craze

Pre-World War II

The ukulele was popularized for a stateside audience during the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, held from spring to fall of 1915 in San Francisco.[16] The Hawaiian Pavilion featured a guitar and ukulele ensemble, George E. K. Awai and his Royal Hawaiian Quartet,[17] along with ukulele maker and player Jonah Kumalae.[18] The popularity of the ensemble with visitors launched a fad for Hawaiian-themed songs among Tin Pan Alley songwriters.[19] The ensemble also introduced both the lap steel guitar and the ukulele into U.S. mainland popular music,[20] where it was taken up by vaudeville performers such as Roy Smeck and Cliff "Ukulele Ike" Edwards. On April 15, 1923 at the Rivoli Theater in New York City, Smeck appeared, playing the ukulele, in Stringed Harmony, a short film made in the DeForest Phonofilm sound-on-film process. On August 6, 1926, Smeck appeared playing the ukulele in a short film His Pastimes, made in the Vitaphone sound-on-disc process, shown with the feature film Don Juan starring John Barrymore.[21]

The ukulele soon became an icon of the Jazz Age.[22] Like guitar, basic ukulele skills can be learned fairly easily, and this highly portable, relatively inexpensive instrument was popular with amateur players throughout the 1920s, as evidenced by the introduction of uke chord tablature into the published sheet music for popular songs of the time,[22] (a role that would be supplanted by the guitar in the early years of rock and roll).[23] A number of mainland-based stringed-instrument manufacturers, among them Regal, Harmony, and especially Martin added ukulele, banjolele, and tiple lines to their production to take advantage of the demand.

The ukulele also made inroads into early country music or old-time music[24] parallel to the then popular mandolin. It was played by Jimmie Rodgers and Ernest V. Stoneman, as well as by early string bands, including Cowan Powers and his Family Band, Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, Walter Smith and Friends, The Blankenship Family, The Hillbillies, and The Hilltop Singers.[24]

Post-World War II

Boy w ukulele
Boy in Hawaii wearing lei and holding a Maccaferri "Islander" plastic ukulele
Red Ukulele
A modern red ukulele.

From the late 1940s to the late 1960s, plastics manufacturer Mario Maccaferri turned out about 9 million inexpensive ukuleles.[25] The ukulele continued to be popular, appearing on many jazz songs throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.[26] Much of the instrument's popularity (particularly the baritone size) was cultivated via The Arthur Godfrey Show on television.[27] Singer-musician Tiny Tim became closely associated with the instrument after playing it on his 1968 hit "Tiptoe Through the Tulips".

Post-1990 revival

After the 1960s, the ukulele declined in popularity until the late 1990s, when interest in the instrument reappeared.[28] During the 1990s, new manufacturers began producing ukuleles and a new generation of musicians took up the instrument. Jim Beloff set out to promote the instrument in the early 1990s and created over two dozen ukulele music books featuring modern music as well as classic ukulele pieces.[29]

All-time best selling Hawaiian musician Israel Kamakawiwo'ole helped re-popularise the instrument, in particular with his 1993 reggae-rhythmed medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World," used in films, television programs, and commercials. The song reached no. 12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004.[30]

The creation of YouTube was a large influence on the popularity of the ukulele. One of the first videos to go viral was Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele rendition of George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" on YouTube. The video quickly went viral, and as of April 2019, had received over 16 million views.[31]

Construction

Ukuleles are generally made of wood, though variants have been composed partially or entirely of plastic or other materials. Cheaper ukuleles are generally made from plywood or laminate woods, in some cases with a soundboard of a tonewood such as spruce. More expensive ukuleles are made of solid hardwoods such as mahogany. The traditionally preferred wood for ukuleles is acacia koa.

Typically, ukuleles have a figure-eight body shape similar to that of a small acoustic guitar. They are also often seen in non-standard shapes, such as cutaway shape and an oval, usually called a "pineapple" ukulele, invented by the Kamaka Ukulele company, or a boat-paddle shape, and occasionally a square shape, often made out of an old wooden cigar box.

These instruments usually have four strings; some strings may be paired in courses, giving the instrument a total of six or eight strings (primarily for greater strumming volume.) The strings themselves were originally made of catgut. Modern ukuleles use nylon polymer strings, with many variations in the material, such as fluorocarbon, aluminium (as winding on lower pitched strings),[32] and Nylgut.[33]

Instruments with 6 or 8 strings in four courses are often called taropatches, or taropatch ukuleles. They were once common in a concert size, but now the tenor size is more common for six-string taropatch ukuleles. The six string, four course version, has two single and two double courses, and is sometimes called a Lili'u, though this name also applies to the eight-string version.[34] Eight-string baritone taropatches exist,[35] and, 5-string tenors have also been made.[36] A Javanese ukulele commonly has only three strings. It seems to be a modern innovation, as the first generation of three-stringed ukuleles were four stringed instruments with one string deliberately removed. They are now manufactured to have only three strings.

3 ukes
Soprano pineapple ukulele, baritone ukulele and taropatch baritone ukulele.

Types and sizes

Common types of ukuleles include soprano (standard ukulele), concert, tenor, and baritone. Less common are the sopranino (also called piccolo, bambino, or "pocket uke"), bass, and contrabass ukuleles.[37] The soprano, often called "standard" in Hawaii, is the second-smallest and was the original size. The concert size was developed in the 1920s as an enhanced soprano, slightly larger and louder with a deeper tone. Shortly thereafter, the tenor was created, having more volume and deeper bass tone. The baritone (resembling a smaller tenor guitar) was created in the 1940s, and the contrabass and bass are recent innovations (2010 and 2014, respectively).[38][39]

Size and popular tunings of standard ukulele types:

Type Alternate
names
Typical
length
Scale
length
[40]
Frets Range[41] Common
tuning[42]
Alternate
tunings
Pocket piccolo, sopranino, sopranissimo 16 in (41 cm) 11 in (28 cm) 10–12 G4–E6 D5 G4 B4 E5 C5 F4 A4 D5
Soprano standard, ukulele 21 in (53 cm) 13 in (33 cm) 12–15 C4–A5 (C6) G4 C4 E4 A4[43] A4 D4 F4 B4

G3 C4 E4 A4[43]

Concert alto 23 in (58 cm) 15 in (38 cm) 15–18 C4–C6 (D 6) G4 C4 E4 A4[43] G3 C4 E4 A4[43]
Tenor taro patch, Liliʻu[44] 26 in (66 cm) 17 in (43 cm) 17–19 G3–D6 (E6) G4 C4 E4 A4 ("High G")

G3 C4 E4 A4 ("Low G")

D4 G3 B3 E4[43]

A3 D4 F4 B4
D3 G3 B3 E4

Baritone bari, bari uke,

taropatch[45]

29 in (74 cm) 19 in (48 cm) 18–21 D3–A5 (C 6) D3 G3 B3 E4 C3 G3 B3 E4
Bass[46] 30 in (76 cm) 20 in (51 cm) 16–18 E2–B4 (C 5) E2 A2 D3 G3
Contrabass U-Bass, Rumbler[47] 32 in (81 cm) 21 in (53 cm) 16 E1–B3 E1 A1 D2 G2 D1 A1 D2 G2 ("Drop D")
Ukulele wall
Ukuleles in a music store.

Range of notes of standard ukulele types:

Note that range varies with the tuning and size of the instruments. The examples shown in the chart reflect the range of each instrument from the lowest standard tuning, to the highest fret in the highest standard tuning.

Tuning

Ukulele standard tuning
Ukulele C6 tuning Play .
My dog has fleas
"My dog has fleas" tuning. Play 

One of the most common tunings for the standard or soprano ukulele is C6 tuning: G4–C4–E4–A4, which is often remembered by the notes in the "My dog has fleas" jingle (see sidebar).[48] The G string is tuned an octave higher than might be expected. This is known as a "reentrant tuning"; it enables uniquely close-harmony chording. A few players prefer "low G" tuning, with the G in sequence an octave lower: G3–C4–E4–A4, which is equivalent to playing the top 4 strings (DGBE) of a guitar with a capo on the 5th fret.

Another common tuning for the soprano ukulele is the higher string-tension D6 tuning (or simply D tuning), A4–D4–F4–B4, one step higher than the G4–C4–E4–A4 tuning. Once considered standard, this tuning was commonly used during the Hawaiian music boom of the early 20th century, and is often seen in sheet music from this period, as well as in many method books through the 1980s. D6 tuning is said by some to bring out a sweeter tone in some ukuleles, generally smaller ones. D6 tuning with a low fourth string, A3–D4–F4–B4, is sometimes called "Canadian tuning" after its use in the Canadian school system, mostly on concert or tenor ukuleles, and extensive use by James Hill and J. Chalmers Doane.[49]

Whether C6 or D6 tuning should be the "standard" tuning is a matter of long and ongoing debate. There are historic and popular ukulele methods that have used each.[50]

The "higher pitched" instruments (sopranino, soprano, concert) most often employ reentrant tuning, while the "lower pitched" instruments (baritone, bass, and often tenor) usually employ linear tuning, where the strings are tuned from low to high pitch across the instrument. For example, baritone is usually tuned to D3–G3–B3–E4 (like the highest four strings of a standard 6-string guitar). There are, however, exceptions, with some players preferring to place the tenor (and even, rarely, the baritone) into re-entrant tuning as well.

One of the main tuning differences between a baritone ukulele and any other ukulele is that the G string is tuned down an octave. The baritone resembles more of a guitar tuning than any other ukulele. It is also common to see electric ukuleles tuned this way (even if they are not a baritone).

Hawaiian ukuleles may also be tuned to open tunings, similar to the Hawaiian slack key style.[51]

Ukulele can be tuned like Dotara as well (a four string instrument played by the folk singers in India and Bangladesh) Ukulele can be tuned like Dotara in many patterns, but E-B-E-A is the easiest way to tune it as there are only two strings that need to be re-tuned.[52]

Related instruments

Ukulele varieties include hybrid instruments such as the guitalele (also called guitarlele), banjo ukulele (also called banjolele), harp ukulele, lap steel ukulele, and the ukelin. It is very common to find Ukulele's mixed with other stringed instruments because of the amount of strings and the easy playing ability. There is an electrically amplified version, the electric ukulele. The resonator ukulele produces sound by one or more spun aluminum cones (resonators) instead of the wooden soundboard, giving it a distinct and louder tone. The Tahitian ukulele, another variant, is usually carved from a single piece of wood,[53] and does not have a hollow soundbox.

Close cousins of the ukulele include the Portuguese forerunners, the cavaquinho (also commonly known as machete or braguinha) and the slightly larger rajão. Other relatives include, the Venezuelan cuatro, the Colombian tiple, the timple of the Canary Islands, the Spanish vihuela, the Mexican requinto jarocho, and the Andean charango traditionally made of an armadillo shell. In Indonesia, a similar Portuguese-inspired instrument is the kroncong.[54]

Audio samples

See also

References

  1. ^ "ukulele". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ Erich M. von Hornbostel & Curt Sachs, "Classification of Musical Instruments: Translated from the Original German by Anthony Baines and Klaus P. Wachsmann." The Galpin Society Journal 14, 1961: 3–29.
  3. ^ "Ukulele". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b Tranquada and King (2012). The Ukulele, A History. Hawaii University Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3634-4.
  5. ^ Beloff 2003, p. 13
  6. ^ Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations. Volume III. Instruments of Savage Tribes and Semi-Civilized Peoples, Part 2. Oceania. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1907. p. 51.
  7. ^ Nidel, Richard (2004). World Music: The Basics. Routledge. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-415-96800-3.
  8. ^ Roberts, Helen (1926). Ancient Hawaiian Music. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. pp. 9–10.
  9. ^ King, John (2003). "Prolegomena to a History of the 'Ukulele". Ukulele Guild of Hawai'i. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  10. ^ "David Kalakaua (1836–1891), Inaugural Hall of Fame Inductee, 1997". Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  11. ^ Karr, Gary, and McMillan, Barclay (1992). "J. Chalmers Doane". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 2008-06-09.
  12. ^ Beloff 2003, p. 111
  13. ^ Beloff, Jim (2003). The Ukulele: A Visual History. Backbeat books. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-87930-758-5.
  14. ^ Fladmark, Judy (2010-02-19). "Ukulele sends UK crazy". BBC News.
  15. ^ Tranquada, Jim (2012). The Ukulele: a History. University of Hawaii Press. p. 152. ISBN 978-0-8248-3544-6.
  16. ^ Lipsky, William (2005). San Francisco's Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Arcadia Publishing. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7385-3009-3.
  17. ^ Doyle, Peter (2005). Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900–1960. Wesleyan. p. 120. ISBN 978-0-8195-6794-9.
  18. ^ "Jonah Kumalae (1875–1940), 2002 Hall of Fame Inductee". Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  19. ^ Koskoff, Ellen (2005). Music Cultures in the United States: An Introduction. Routledge. p. 129. ISBN 978-0-415-96588-0.
  20. ^ Volk, Andy (2003). Lap Steel Guitar. Centerstream Publications. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-57424-134-1.
  21. ^ Whitcomb, Ian (2000). Ukulele Heaven: Songs from the Golden Age of the Ukulele. Mel Bay Publications. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-7866-4951-8.
  22. ^ a b Whitcomb, Ian (2001). Uke Ballads: A Treasury of Twenty-five Love Songs Old and New. Mel Bay Publications. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7866-1360-1.
  23. ^ Sanjek, Russell (1988). American Popular Music and Its Business: The First Four Hundred Years. Oxford University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-19-504311-1.
  24. ^ a b Rev, Lil'. ""Just a few penny dreadfuls": the Ukulele and Old-Time Country Music". www.oldtimeherald.org. Retrieved 2018-06-27.
  25. ^ Wright, Michael. "Maccaferri History: The Guitars of Mario Maccaferri". Vintage Guitar. Archived from the original on 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  26. ^ "The Ukulele". Peterborough Music. 3 March 2002. Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-15.The Ukulele
  27. ^ "Arthur Godfrey (1903–1983), 2001 Hall of Fame Inductee". Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  28. ^ John Shepherd (27 February 2003). Continuum encyclopedia of popular music of the world: VolumeII: Performance and production. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 450–. ISBN 978-0-8264-6322-7. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  29. ^ Mighty Uke, Interview with Jim Beloff, 2010
  30. ^ Billboard, for the survey week ending January 18, 2004.
  31. ^ cromulantman (22 April 2006). "Ukulele weeps by Jake Shimabukuro". Retrieved 3 April 2019 – via YouTube.
  32. ^ "Ukulele Strings - C.F. Martin & Co". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  33. ^ "Aquila Nylgut Ukulele Strings, wholesale source for retailers and dealers". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  34. ^ "110mb.com - Want to start a website?". Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  35. ^ "Kamaka Baritone 8 String HF-48". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  36. ^ "Kala -KA-ATP-CTG Solid Cedar Top Tenor Slothead -Gloss Finish". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  37. ^ "Lamorinda Music". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  38. ^ "The story behind the wildly popular Kala U-Bass". 7 January 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  39. ^ "Uke Baritone Bass w/Preamp Tattoo - Luna Guitars". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  40. ^ The “scale” is the length of the playable part of the strings, from the nut at the top to the bridge at the bottom.
  41. ^ Exact range depends on the tuning and the number of frets.
  42. ^ On the soprano, concert, and tenor instruments, the most common tuning results in a "bottom" string that is not the lowest in pitch, as it is tuned a 5th higher than the next string (and a major 2nd below the "top" string). This is called re-entrant tuning.
  43. ^ a b c d e "Ukulele/Banjouke". 2 January 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  44. ^ Tenor ukuleles exist in a variety of styles, with 4, 5, 6, and 8 strings. What the tenor is called depends on which style it has been designed in.
  45. ^ Eight-string "taropatch" baritone ukuleles have been made; however, they are very rare. See, for example, the Kamaka HF-48
  46. ^ See the Luna Uke Bass and the Kala U-Bass
  47. ^ U-Bass and Rumbler are trade names of the Kala ukulele company
  48. ^ "Ukulele in the Classroom". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  49. ^ "James Hill - FAQ". Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  50. ^ Tranquada, J.; The Ukulele: A History; University of Hawaii Press; Honolulu: 2012. 0824-83634-0 According to Tranquanda, ""This is an old and seemingly never-ending argument. While the pioneering methods of Kaai (1906) and Rollinson (1909) both use C tuning, a sampling of the methods that follow give a sense of the unresolved nature of the debate: Kealakai (1914), D tuning; Bailey (1914), C tuning; Kia (1914), D tuning; Kamiki (1916), D tuning; Guckert (1917), C tuning; Stumpf (1917), D tuning."
  51. ^ Kimura, Heeday. How to Play Slack Key Ukulule.
  52. ^ Ovi, Rahatul Islam (24 April 2017). "Ukulele Dotara Style Tuning - ইউকালেলি দোতারা স্টাইল টিউনিং". Rahatul & Dukulele. Retrieved 24 April 2017 – via YouTube.
  53. ^ University of the South Pacific. Institute of Pacific Studies (2003). Cook Islands culture. Institute of Pacific Studies in Association with the Cook Islands Extension Centre, University of the South Pacific, the Cook Islands Cultural and Historic Places Trust, and the Ministry of Cultural Development. ISBN 978-982-02-0348-8. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
  54. ^ Jeremy Wallach (22 October 2008). Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia, 1997–2001. Univ of Wisconsin Press. pp. 268–. ISBN 978-0-299-22904-7. Retrieved 15 September 2012.

Bibliography

  • Beloff (2003) [1997]. The Ukulele: A Visual History (Revised & Expanded ed.). San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-758-7.
  • Tranquada, Jim; King, John (2012). The Ukulele: A History. Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-3634-4.

External links

Bang the Drum All Day

"Bang the Drum All Day" is a 1983 song by Todd Rundgren. The lyrics describe, in the first person, the singer's drive to "bang on the drum all day" to the exclusion of everything else. All the instruments on this track are performed by Rundgren. The song has become popular as an anti-work anthem or anthem of celebration.

Rundgren would re-record the song live for subscribers to his Patronet service. The new version was retitled "Bang the Ukulele Daily", referring to Rundgren's decision to perform it in a Hawaiian style, accompanied only by a ukulele. "Bang the Ukulele Daily" was included on his album One Long Year.

Banjo uke

The banjolele (brand name; sometimes banjo ukulele or banjo uke) is a four-stringed musical instrument with a small banjo-type body and a fretted ukulele neck. "Banjolele", sometimes also spelled "banjelele" or "banjulele", is a generic nickname given to the instrument. The earliest known banjoleles were built by John A. Bolander and by Alvin D. Keech, both in 1917.

The instrument achieved its greatest popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, and combines the small scale, tuning, and playing style of a ukulele with the construction and distinctive tone of a banjo, hence the name. Its development was pushed by the need for vaudeville performers to have an instrument that could be played with the ease of the ukulele, but with more volume.

Cavaquinho

The cavaquinho (pronounced [kɐvɐˈkiɲu] in Portuguese) is a small Portuguese string instrument in the European guitar family, with four wire or gut strings.

More broadly, cavaquinho is the name of a four-stringed subdivision of the lute family of instruments.

A cavaquinho player is called a cavaquista.

Cliff Edwards

Clifton Avon "Cliff" Edwards (June 14, 1895 – July 17, 1971), nicknamed "Ukulele Ike", was an American musician, singer, actor and voice actor, who enjoyed considerable popularity in the 1920s and early 1930s, specializing in jazzy renditions of pop standards and novelty tunes. He had a number-one hit with "Singin' in the Rain" in 1929. He also did voices for animated cartoons later in his career, and is best known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney's Pinocchio (1940) and Fun and Fancy Free (1947).

Eddie Vedder

Eddie Jerome Vedder (born Edward Louis Severson III; December 23, 1964) is an American musician, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter best known as the lead vocalist, one of three guitarists, and the lyricist of the American rock band Pearl Jam. He is known for his powerful baritone vocals. He also appeared as a guest vocalist in Temple of the Dog, the one-off tribute band dedicated to the late singer Andrew Wood. Vedder has been ranked at number 7 on a list of "Best Lead Singers of All Time", compiled by Rolling Stone.In 2007, Vedder released his first solo album as a soundtrack for the film Into the Wild (2007). His second album Ukulele Songs and a live DVD titled Water on the Road were released in 2011.

In 2017, Vedder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Pearl Jam.

Grace VanderWaal

Grace Avery VanderWaal (born January 15, 2004) is an American singer-songwriter. She earned wide notice at an early age and is known for her distinctive vocals, often accompanying herself on the ukulele.

VanderWaal began her musical career by posting videos of her original songs and covers on YouTube and performing at open mic nights near her hometown of Suffern, New York. In September 2016, at age 12, she won the eleventh season of the NBC TV competition show America's Got Talent (AGT), singing her original songs. In December 2016, she released her first EP, Perfectly Imperfect, on the Columbia Records label. In November 2017, she released a full-length album, Just the Beginning.

She has performed at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden, the opening and closing of the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria, various benefit concerts, the Austin City Limits Music Festival and on several television talk shows. VanderWaal conducted her first concert tour in 2017 in support of Just the Beginning. She next toured in mid-2018 with Imagine Dragons in their Evolve World Tour. She is set to star in the Disney+ film Stargirl, which is scheduled for release in 2020.

She won the 2017 Radio Disney Music Award for Best New Artist and a Teen Choice Award, has been named to Billboard magazine's 21 Under 21 list of fast-rising young music stars in four consecutive years (2016–2019), received the 2017 Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award, and is the youngest person ever included in Forbes' 30 Under 30 Music List.

Guitalele

A guitalele (sometimes spelled guitarlele or guilele), also called a kīkū, is a guitar-ukulele hybrid, that is, "a 1/4 size" guitar, a cross between a classical guitar and a tenor or baritone ukulele. The guitalele combines the portability of a ukulele, due to its small size, with the six single strings and resultant chord possibilities of a classical guitar. It may include a built-in microphone that permits playing the guitalele either as an acoustic guitar or connected to an amplifier. The guitalele is variously marketed (and used) as a travel guitar or children's guitar. It is essentially a modern iteration of the Quint guitar.

A guitalele is the size of a ukulele, and is commonly played like a guitar transposed up to “A” (that is, up a 4th, or like a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret). This gives it tuning of ADGCEA, with the top four strings tuned like a low G ukulele. This is the same as the tuning of the requinto guitar, although the latter are typically larger than a guitalele, and as the most common tuning for the guitarrón mexicano, albeit at a higher octave.

Several guitar and ukulele manufacturers market guitaleles, including Yamaha Corporation's GL-1 Guitalele, Cordoba's Guilele and Mini, Koaloha's D-VI 6-string tenor ukulele, Mele's Guitarlele, Kanilea's GL6 Guitarlele and Islander GL6, Luna's 6-string baritone ukulele, the Lichty Kīkū, the Kinnard Kīkū, and the Gretsch guitar-ukulele.Some manufacturers' (e.g., Luna) use of the term "6-string ukulele" (or the like) in describing their six-string, six-course guitaleles can lead to confusion with the common six-string, four-course ukuleles that are typically referred to by the same name. These four-course "6-string ukuleles" are usually strung with a single G string, a closely spaced course of two (often octave-tuned) C strings, a single E string and a closely spaced course of two (often unison-tuned) A strings. This means that chord formation is more akin to a traditional four-string ukulele, while the Guitalele's is more akin to a six-string guitar.

Hellogoodbye

Hellogoodbye (sometimes styled as hellogoodbye) is a pop rock band that was formed in Huntington Beach, California in 2001 by singer Forrest Kline. They were signed to Drive-Thru Records and released their first full-length album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! in 2006, in addition to their previously released EP Hellogoodbye and DVD OMG HGB DVD ROTFL. In 2010, the band released Would It Kill You? on their label Wasted Summer Records. The album was released in the United Kingdom and Europe by LAB Records on the 14 March 2011. Hellogoodbye released their third album, Everything Is Debatable, on October 29, 2013, while touring as the opening act for Paramore's The Self-Titled Tour. Their fourth album, S'Only Natural, was released on October 5, 2018.

Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole (pronounced [kəˌmɐkəˌvivoˈʔole]; Hawaiian for "The Fearless Eyed Man"; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), also called Bruddah Iz or IZ, was a Native Hawaiian singer-songwriter, musician, and Hawaiian sovereignty activist.

He achieved commercial success outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" was released on his albums Ka ʻAnoʻi and Facing Future. It was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and television commercials.

Along with his ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres, such as jazz and reggae, Kamakawiwoʻole remains influential in Hawaiian music.

Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro (born November 3, 1976, in Honolulu, Hawaii) is an American ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger work. His music combines elements of jazz, blues, funk, rock, bluegrass, classical, folk, and flamenco. Shimabukuro has written numerous original compositions, including the entire soundtracks to two Japanese films, Hula Girls (2007) and the Japanese remake of Sideways (2009).

Well known in Hawaii and Japan during his early solo career in the early 2000s, Shimabukuro became famous internationally in 2006, when a video of him playing a virtuosic rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was posted on YouTube without his knowledge and became one of the first viral videos on that site. His concert engagements, collaborations with well-known musicians, media appearances, and music production have snowballed since then. In 2012, an award-winning documentary was released tracking his life, career, and music, titled Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings; it has screened in a variety of festivals, aired repeatedly on PBS, and been released on DVD.

Joji (musician)

George Miller (born 18 September 1992), better known by his stage name Joji and formerly by his online aliases Filthy Frank and Pink Guy, is a Japanese singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, author, and former Internet personality and comedian.

Miller's start as an entertainer began on his now defunct YouTube channels, DizastaMusic, TooDamnFilthy, and TVFilthyFrank, that consisted of rap songs, rants, extreme challenges, ukulele performances and a bizarre show titled The Filthy Frank Show, with most of the main characters played by Miller, including the titular character of Filthy Frank. To complement his TVFilthyFrank channel, Miller produced comedy hip hop music under his Pink Guy alias, who is also a zentai-wearing recurring character on The Filthy Frank Show, with his songs featured on the show and his discography spanning two full-length projects and an extended play. Miller's videos had widespread impact, including starting a viral dance craze known as the Harlem Shake, which was directly responsible for the debut of Baauer's "Harlem Shake" song atop the Billboard Hot 100. Many YouTube personalities have made major or cameo appearances on The Filthy Frank Show, including h3h3Productions, iDubbbz, JonTron, Michael Stevens, and PewDiePie.In December 2017, Miller stated he had retired the channel to focus on his music career, under the name Joji, producing more nuanced and serious music, releasing the EP In Tongues, which peaked at number 58 on the Billboard 200, and his debut studio album Ballads 1, which reached number 1 on Billboard's top R&B and hip-hop chart in November 2018. With this, Miller became the first Asian-born artist to do so. Miller's music has been described as a mix between R&B, lo-fi and trip hop.

Kamaka Ukulele

Kamaka Hawaii, Incorporated, also known as Kamaka Ukulele or just Kamaka is a family-owned Hawaii-based maker of ukuleles. It is often credited with producing some of the world's finest ukuleles, and created the first pineapple ukulele. The company manufactures 9 types of ukulele.

List of musical comedians

This alphabetical list is limited to comedians who share their comedy through music and song. Usually they play an instrument onstage.

Lyle Ritz

Lyle Joseph Ritz (January 10, 1930 – March 3, 2017) was an American musician, known for his work on ukulele and bass (both double bass and bass guitar). His early career in jazz as a ukulele player made him a key part of the Hawaii music scene in the 1950s. By the 1960s, he had began working as a session musician, more often on double bass or electric bass guitar. His prominence in the Los Angeles session scene made him a part of the Wrecking Crew, an informal group of well-used Los Angeles-based musicians. Ritz contributed to many American pop hits from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s. Starting in the mid-1980s, a rediscovery of his earlier ukulele work led to him becoming a fixture in live festivals, and a revival of his interest in playing the ukulele. He was inducted to both the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007.

Music of Hawaii

The music of Hawaii includes an array of traditional and popular styles, ranging from native Hawaiian folk music to modern rock and hip hop. Hawaii's musical contributions to the music of the United States are out of proportion to the state's small size. Styles like slack-key guitar are well known worldwide, while Hawaiian-tinged music is a frequent part of Hollywood soundtracks. Hawaii also made a contribution to country music with the introduction of the steel guitar. In addition, the music which began to be played by Puerto Ricans in Hawaii in the early 1900s is called cachi cachi music, on the islands of Hawaii.

Music of Hawaiian people is largely religious in nature, and includes chanting and dance music. Hawaiian music has had a notable impact on the music of other Polynesian islands; Peter Manuel called the influence of Hawaiian music a "unifying factor in the development of modern Pacific musics".

Sam Brown (singer)

Samantha Brown (born 7 October 1964) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and record producer.

In a music career spanning more than 30 years, Brown is a ukulele player, and was a blue-eyed soul and jazz singer. Brown came to prominence in the late 1980s as a solo artist, releasing six singles that entered the UK Singles Chart during the 1980s and 1990s. Her solo singles, sometimes dealing with lost love included "Stop!", "This Feeling", "Can I Get a Witness", "Kissing Gate", "With a Little Love" and "Just Good Friends". She worked as a session backing vocalist, working with artists such as Small Faces, Spandau Ballet, Adam Ant, Jon Lord (of Deep Purple), Pink Floyd (also David Gilmour), The Firm, Gary Moore, George Harrison and Nick Cave.

Brown released her debut album Stop! in 1988. Since then, she has released five studio albums, one EP and three compilation albums, but lost her singing voice in 2007 and has since been unable to sing. She has married once and is the mother of two children.

Tiny Tim (musician)

Herbert Butros Khaury (April 12, 1932 – November 30, 1996), known also as Herbert Buckingham Khaury and known professionally as Tiny Tim, was an American singer and ukulele player, and a musical archivist. He is best remembered for his cover hits "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" and "Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight", which he sang in a high falsetto voice.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) is a musical ensemble featuring ukuleles in different registers. They play and sing music from a variety of musical genres, all on the ukulele.

Ukulele Songs

Ukulele Songs is the second solo studio album by American singer and Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder. It was released on May 31, 2011. The album is composed of original songs and new arrangements of several standards.

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