Read the following short history, then watch the video link at the bottom, lastly mark as done/turn in.
History of the Ukulele
The OriginsWhile the ukulele is a uniquely Hawaiian instrument, its roots are in the Portuguese braguinha or machete de braga. The braguinha is a stringed instrument smaller than a guitar whose tuning is very similar to the first four strings of a guitar. By 1850, sugar plantations had become a major economic force in Hawaii, and the plantations needed more workers. Many waves of immigrants came to the islands, including a large number of Portuguese who brought their branguinhas with them.
Legend dates the beginning of the Hawaii infatuation with the branguinha to August 23, 1879. A ship called the Ravenscrag arrived in Honolulu Harbor and released its passengers after a rather arduous journey. One of the passengers began singing songs of thanksgiving for finally reaching his destination and accompanied himself with a branguina. The story goes that the local Hawaiians were very moved by his performance and nicknamed the instrument "Jumping Flea" (one possible translation of ukulele) for the way his fingers moved on the fretboard.
PopularityThe popularity of the ukulele was assured by the patronage of the royal family. The Hawaiian king, King David Kalakauna, loved the ukulele so much he incorporated it into traditional Hawaiian dances and music. He and his sister, Lili'uokalani (who would become queen after him), would have songwriting contests on the ukulele. The monarchs of Hawaii made sure that the ukulele would become completely intertwined with the musical culture of Hawaii.
Spreading to the MainlandIn the early 1900s tourism in Hawaii was starting to take off, and people were enchanted by the beautiful tropical islands with their unique music and dance traditions. Several touring shows of Hawaiian performers crossed the mainland, introducing people to the sound of the ukulele. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition was held in San Francisco to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal. One of the exhibit areas was a Hawaiian Pavilion which featured daily performances by hula dancers and musicians. It proved to be one of the most popular exhibits at the Exposition. Tin Pan Alley songwriters fell in love with Hawaii and the ukulele became a popular instrument on the mainland, so much so that ukuleles started being made off the island.
The PresentThe ukulele's popularity on the mainland waned after the 1950s with the beginnings of rock and roll. Where before every child wanted a ukulele, now they wanted a guitar. But the ukulele's easy playability and unique sound is helping it make a comeback in the present, with ukulele songs by Jason Mraz and Train making it onto the top 40 radio stations.Of course, the ukulele never lost popularity in Hawaii. One of the most famous ukulele musicians is the late Israel "Iz" Ka'ano'i Kamakawiwo'ole (affectionatley known as Bruddah Iz by Hawaiians) whose cover of Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World was an international bestseller. Another name to know is Jake Shimabukuro, who is considered by many to be a virtuoso on the ukulele. Jake is also notable for reaching worldwide attention from a single viral video on Youtube.
Jake Shimabukuro video link
Created by John Garland:
Wednesday, April 14 10:55 PM