International Teen Blogger: THE UKULELE!

The ukulele is one of my favorite instruments and a remarkable part of the cultural identity of Hawaii. The term ukulele can be broken down into “uke” which means to flea or louse and “lele” which means to jump, however it was known as a machete or, more commonly, the braguina until the 18th century due to it’s Portuguese creators. This instrument was made by three woodworkers on a ship from Portugal to work on the sugar fields in Hawaii, Jose do Espirito Santo, Manuel Nunes, and Augusto Dias. The ship arrived on the island in 1879. All three men settled on the island of Honolulu and began their own businesses making furniture and small stringed instruments. Their businesses grew and so did the popularity of the mini guitars being made.
The term ukulele comes from one of the first people to be skilled at playing the instrument, Edward Purvis. He played so energetically and with such enthusiasm, he was given the nickname, ukulele, or more literally “jumping flea”. From there forth, the name stuck to the instrument and Edward Purvis was asked to play for island officials and was given the position of the King’s assistant.
The first clear record of the ukulele in North America was at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. This convention documents a clear interest and introduction of the instrument. In 1915, the ukulele had spread around the western United States and was on its way to becoming popular throughout North America. The cause of its popularity is how easy it is to play and sing along with. It can also be mastered and played very skillfully by itself through studies and practice.

Now some facts and modern things about the ukulele today!
• The ukulele has four strings that go in order of GCEA and has spread throughout the US and other places in the world because of its simple nature.
• Ukuleles come in four sizes, soprano, tenor, concert and baritone. The baritone uses DGBE tuning instead.
• Ukuleles aren’t that expensive! They cost anywhere from 20 dollars to 60 if you want just a starting one.

This is an instrumental of somewhere over the rainbow to get to know what a ukulele sounds like if you haven’t heard one already! I give all credits to the YouTube channel it’s on.

Ale, 15, Landa TLLC


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