A new history of origins and development of the ukelele 1838-1915
IN HIS PIONEERING1979 work Hawaiian Music and Musicians, George Kanahele observed that until heand his collaboratorssetto work,the field of Hawaiian music was "terra incognita...much of what we thought wek new was incomplete,unreliable or fallacious."
Surprisingly, Kanahele' slament still holds true today for the 'ukulele, despite it siconic status.First crafted byMadeira nimmigrants who arrived in Hawai'i in the late 1870s, the'ukulele's fate has been similar tothat of it solder cousin, the guitar, which, a sone historian has noted,also suffers from the "promulgationo flegend sand the misrepresentations of historical fact."With the exception of a new dictionary of early Hawaiian luthiers, much of the information in print about the'ukulele is unreliable or incorrect.Most accounts are based on the same small group of frequently cited books and magazine articles,which in turn relyon "famil ytraditions"or on reminiscences solicited 40 years or more afte rthe...
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