The ukulele is a guitar-like plucked instrument, which can normally be drawn by four, but with six or eight strings. It has a look of a guitar, but is just about 60 cm long and 20 cm wide and therefore gives the impression of a toy guitar for kids.
The Portuguese immigrants Joćo Fernandes brought in 1879 the Braguinha, a local form of the Cavaquinho, from Madeira to Hawaii. There it was given the name "ukulele" ("jumping flea"), which is the impression of the Hawaiians at the sight of the quick play on the fretboard of the instrument with moving finger. They decided to rebuild it and produced the first ukulele from the local Koa wood.
During the Pacific War, American soldiers who were previously stationed in the Philippines and Hawaii brought Ukuleles to Melanesia. In New Guinea they were among the few musical instruments imported after 1945 and allowed the formation of string bands, the first modern style of music created by then purely based on local traditions, music of New Guinea.
Hawaii, is the state of the United States since 1959, the ukulele came to North America and from there back to Europe. In England the Ukulele was popular as an accompanying instrument of skiffle music. In Billy Wilder's movie Some Like It Hot, Marilyn Monroe played as Sugar the ukulele.
By Melanie Bradley
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