Sometimes abbreviated to uke, the ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments; it generally employs four nylon or gut strings or four courses of strings. The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian interpretation of the machete, a small guitar-like instrument related to the cavaquinho, timple, braguinha and the rajão, taken to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from the Macaronesian Islands. Ukuleles gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.
The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea,” 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. According to Queen Liliʻuokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come).
The brightly colored ukulele that many of us have seen in Hawaiian gift shops notwithstanding, the fact is a top-quality ukulele is a serious musical instrument. It is possible to spend thousands of dollars to obtain a fine concert model ukulele. The sound of a Hawaiian Ukulele is a great way to add the spirit of Hawaii to your life. Another greate way is to order Hawaiian Island Wall Art for your home.
The folks at Hawaiian Island Wall Art