The Ukelele is a recording studio staple across the word today. Rising out of Hawaii, the ukelele has become very popular throughout the world and in the recording studio.
Recording Studio: Ukelele
The name ‘ukulele’ is the traditional Hawaiian name that was given to a small instrument called the machete (machete de braga), which was originally developed in the Madeira Islands of Portugal. The machete itself is a descendent of the early European and Middle Eastern plucked stringed instruments (such as the lute), is a member of the guitar family, and goes by several different names including the cavaquinho, braguinha, manchhete and cavaco. The machete was brought into Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants long before the first recording studio, who moved to the islands to work in the sugar cane fields in the late 1800’s. Manuel Nunes, Augusto Dias and Jose do Espirito Santo, who arrived in Hawaii on the Ravenscrag in 1879 from the Portuguese Islands of Madeira are believed to have been the first makers of the Hawaiian ‘ukulele’.
The Ukelele was patented in Hawaii in 1917, deriving its name from the Hawaiian word for “leaping flea.” Immigrants from the island of Madeira first brought to Hawaii a pair of Portuguese instruments in the late 1870s from which the ukuleles eventually developed. Trace back to the origins of the ukulele, follow its evolution and path to present-day popularity, and explore interesting facts about this instrument.
1. Developed from a four-string Madeiran instrument and built from Hawaiian koa wood, ukuleles were popular among the Hawaiian royalty in the late 19th century. They are very popular all over the world now and in the recording studio.
2. 1893’s World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago saw the first major performance of Hawaiian music with ukulele on the mainland.
3. By 1916, Hawaiian music became a national craze, and the ukulele was incorporated into popular American culture soon afterwards.
4. Singin’ In The Rain vocalist Cliff Edwards was also known as Ukulele Ike, and was one of the best known ukulele players during the height of the instrument’s popularity in the United States.