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  • Museum of Making Music - A Ukulele History
    the machete The machete was introduced to Hawaii about 125 years ago by Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira who came to work in the sugar cane fields When the ship Ravenscrag docked in Honolulu in August 1879 the immigrants celebrated their safe arrival with Portuguese folksongs accompanied on the little four stringed machete the instrument that was known in Madeira It was an immediate sensation Less than two weeks later the Hawaiian Gazette reported that a band of Portuguese musicians composed of Madeira Islanders recently arrived here have been delighting the people with nightly street concerts The musicians are true performers on their strange instruments which are a kind of cross between a guitar and a banjo but which produce very sweet music The ship Ravenscrag brought from Madeira not only laborers for sugar plantations but also three talented cabinetmakers Augusto Dias 1842 1915 Manuel Nunes 1843 1922 and Jose do Espirito Santo 1850 1905 who were to play key roles in popularizing the little machete Responding to a growing local interest in this small guitar like instrument Dias Nunes and Santo all opened their own instrument shops in Honolulu by 1886 The machete renamed ukulele in the Hawaiian language meaning literally jumping flea rose quickly to popularity among the native population and became regarded as Hawaii s national instrument The key reason for this immediate acceptance was the patronage of Hawaii s royal family most notably King David Kalakaua 1836 1891 an accomplished musician and composer who became an avid ukulele player Dias had a long standing relationship with King Kalakaua he regularly performed at Iolani Palace demonstrating his unique Portuguese style of playing melody and accompaniment and even taught the king to build his own ukuleles Apart from royal patronage the creative redesign of the machete

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Early Makers
    made of koa wood including the standard or soprano concert tenor and baritone models The company has become especially known for its oval shaped pineapple ukulele designed by Sam Kamaka in the mid 1920s and patented in 1928 The prototype its body painted in trompe l oeil fashion to look like a life sized pineapple can still be seen at the Kamaka factory in Honolulu The pineapple model an instant success brought world wide recognition to the company and remains Kamaka s signature model In response to the growing popularity of the ukulele in the mid 1910s mainland manufacturers jumped into the business Among the numerous imitators of Hawaiian made instruments C F Martin Co of Nazareth Pennsylvania stands out above all others for its quality of craftsmanship Established in New York City in 1833 by German émigré C F Martin Sr 1796 1873 Martin was already renowned for its exceptional acoustic guitars when they began making their first production line ukuleles under the leadership of Frank Henry Martin 1866 1948 in late 1915 Martin Co developed a full line of finely crafted instruments including the soprano concert beginning in 1925 tenor 1928 and baritone 1960 The Style 0 introduced in 1922 was made only in mahogany and had the least amount of ornamentation Styles 1 2 and 3 were made in mahogany or koa wood designated 1 K 2 K and 3 K and featured increasing amounts of ornamentation The Style 3 and 3 K along with the Style 5 K introduced in 1925 with their seventeen fret ebony fingerboards were advertised as professional model instruments The Style 5 K was Martin s top of the line production instrument and featured highly figured koa wood with abalone purfling and pearl inlays on the fingerboard and head stock Gibson was

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history/uke-makers (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Tourism & Romance
    ukuleles on moonlit sandy beaches The ukulele became a popular and affordable souvenir sold in Hawaii for 5 to 20 to hundreds of visiting tourists as the Hawaiian Almanac and Annual reported in 1899 Although the ukulele was introduced on the mainland as early as 1893 at the World s Columbian Exposition in Chicago by the Volcano Singers a quartet of vocalists that performed at the Kilauea Cyclorama the instrument didn t grab the attention of mainland firms and audiences until later The ukulele began to get a foothold on the mainland once it began appearing in vaudeville shows on the west coast and grew in popularity as it began to be associated with youth culture the beach and summer vacations At the turn of the century Hawaiian musical groups began to frequently tour the west coast appearing at Southern California amusement parks society parties and store openings as well as at local theaters Some of the Hawaiian bands like Mekia Kealakai s 1867 1944 troupe could also be heard on the east coast performing on the Keith Vaudeville circuit in addition to the usual venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles Interest in the ukulele was fueled by the production of Richard Walton Tully s 1877 1945 play The Bird of Paradise which opened on Broadway in 1912 and became a sensation touring North America Europe and Australia The play introduced the entire country to the charms of the ukulele as it told the story of an ill fated love between a Hawaiian princess and a Yankee adventurer Featuring a quintet of Hawaiian musicians strumming ukuleles and guitars the melodrama s popularity was such that national touring companies remained on the road for more than a decade How many incantatory ukuleles it set to strumming in the national moonlight

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history/uke-tourism (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - The "American" Uke
    and cheaper woods and were created as an inexpensive and fun introduction to the uke They had attractive designs including art deco motifs Hawaiian themes exotic imagery of pyramids or Chinese dragons or American West and college related themes The range of designs was intended to appeal to a variety of audiences across the nation and reflected different tastes and interests Novelty ukes were not particularly good for making music but they were inexpensive selling anywhere between 1 70 and 4 50 during the 1930s Some notable exceptions among novelty instruments were the high quality signature ukes that celebrated outstanding vaudeville performers of the era including Cliff Edwards Wendell Hall Johnny Marvin and Roy Smeck The leaders during this era of mass production and distribution of novelty ukes were unquestionably the Chicago based manufacturers Regal Musical Instrument Company and Harmony Regal made inexpensive ukuleles throughout the twenties expanded its brand by acquiring the J R Stewart and Le Domino trade names at the beginning of the Great Depression and purchased the right to manufacture and sell Dobro resonator instruments in the early 1930s In 1959 the Regal trademark was assigned to the rival Harmony Company Other popular Regal ukes from the Great Depression years include the Egyptian the faux leopard skinned Jungle Uke and the decaled Red Dragon Harmony jump started ukulele production when the popularity of the ukulele exploded in the mid 1910s By 1923 the company produced as many as a quarter of a million instruments per year including ukes and banjo ukes In 1927 Harmony introduced the Roy Smeck Vita Uke signature model a pear shaped instrument with stylized seal f holes and soon afterward the Johnny Marvin Professional tenor ukulele Harmony also made instruments for Oscar Schmidt under the Stella trade name and for Sears Roebuck

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history/uke-american (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Radio and TV
    Hotel at Waikiki Beach in 1935 featuring prominent performers like Harry Owens 1902 1986 Johnny Noble 1892 1944 and Al Kealoha Perry 1901 1979 his Singing Surfriders Additionally servicemen who were stationed in the Pacific during the war returned with a new interest in Hawaii and Hawaiian music and culture Equally important guitar designer inventor and molded plastics pioneer Mario Maccaferri 1900 1993 began making inexpensive polystyrene ukes that greatly contributed to the popularity of the instrument In the late 1940s Arthur Godfrey 1903 1983 was instrumental in the popularization of the ukulele thanks to his radio and television shows that were enjoyed by over forty million fans per week Godfrey was the first performer in television history to have top rated shows including Arthur Godfrey s Talent Scouts and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends that contributed an astonishing ten million dollars a year in advertising to the Columbia Broadcasting System Amazingly Godfrey actually gave ukulele lessons to the television audience something that led to sales of over nine million plastic ukuleles manufactured and marketed by Maccaferri s company French American Reeds Manufacturing Company later Mastro Industries during the 1950s and 1960s Maccaferri a fine guitarist and apprentice of the Italian luthier Luigi Mozanni 1869 1943 was among the first to use plastic in mass production of stringed instruments Using his extensive knowledge and experience in guitar building Maccaferri designed one of the most popular ukes ever made the Islander Patterned after a Martin Style 0 but made from Dow Styron polystyrene the Islander was introduced in 1949 and retailed for 5 95 After Maccaferri s Islander was endorsed by Arthur Godfrey and promoted on his TV shows the sales of Mastro Plastics Corp soared Other Maccaferri model plastic ukes included the TV Pal Islander Deluxe and Islander Baritone In

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history/uke-radio-tv (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Ukulele Unbounded
    marriage in 1969 on the Tonight Show His appearance and demeanor were eccentric shy and demure he was also very tall with long curly hair and an extraordinary falsetto voice Sadly Tiny Tim closed the era of extreme popularity of the instrument on the mainland without making a bridge to the future Among innovations achieved at the close of the second wave of popularity Swagerty ukes commonly referred to as Kooky Ukes deserve special attention Built in 1964 by Ancil Swagerty 1911 1991 as a piece of wall art these oddly shaped instruments were transformed into good sounding playable ukuleles The Swagerty line included the tripartite soundhole Treholipee and Kook a la lee both were four feet long with paddle shaped tuners and the Surf a lele All three models were endorsed by renowned American musician comedian and writer Steve Allen and were proclaimed as instruments making a new sound for a new generation The Kooky Ukes were sold in national department stores and Southern California music stores They represented a connection to the beach and the outdoors and were promoted as a part of surfing lifestyle While the production of these instruments was discontinued during the seventies they were an important link to the current third wave of ukulele popularity in their connection to the aesthetics of simplicity and a natural way of life Although production and sales of ukuleles fell to almost zero during the 1970s the instrument was able to survive and gradually started to come back in the late 1980s and the 1990s This time Hawaiian annual fairs and festivals uke enthusiasts from Japan the United Kingdom and Canada where the ukulele has been a part of the elementary school music curriculum and mainland ukulele clubs helped to foster renewed interest in the instrument Or perhaps

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/ukulele-history/uke-unbounded (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Contributor Thanks
    for their support of the online exhibition project Instrument Builders We would like to express our sincere thanks to all contemporary instrument builders for making and loaning special ukuleles for this exhibition James Baron aka Tiki King Tiki King Steve Evans Beltona Resonator Instruments Jim Liz Beloff Flea Market Music Dick Boak C F Martin Co Museum and Archives Kevin Crossett Kepasa Ukulele Michael DaSilva DaSilva Ukulele Company Michael Dunn Joel Eckhaus Earnest Instruments McGregor Gaines National Resophonic Tony Graziano Tony Graziano Ukuleles and Guitars Peter Hurney Pohaku Ukulele Fred Kamaka Jr Kamaka Ukulele Casey Morgan Ukes by Casey Morgan Kent Olson HonuLua Ukulele Aaron Oya Barry Pearlman Renaissance Guitars Geoff Rezek Rigk Sauer RISA Musical Instruments Owen J K Holt Jr Road Toad Music Derek Shimazu GString Ukuleles Joe Kristen L Souza Kanile a Ukulele Peter and Donna Thomas Rick Turner Renaissance Guitars Our special thanks to C F Martin Guitar Co Museum and Archives for loaning outstanding examples of historic and contemporary instruments from their museum collection to Rick Turner and Barry Pearlman of Renaissance Guitars for commissioning and donating to the exhibition a special painted uke by renowned comic artist Mary Fleener and to Kamaka Ukulele for donating a special ukulele for this exhibition Exhibition Collaborators The Museum of Making Music closely collaborated on this project with Jim Beloff author of The Ukulele A Visual History publisher arranger of the Jumpin Jim s songbook series and his wife Liz Beloff who serve as co curators of the show as well as Rick Turner and Barry Pearlman of Renaissance Guitars catalysts of this project historian musicologist Fred Fallin and Andy Andrews co founder of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz Other collaborators include Jim Tranquada Rick McKee Sandor Nagyszalanczy Dan Scanlan and Don Stewart Private Collectors These individuals

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/uke-thanks (2016-02-18)
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  • Museum of Making Music - Ukulele Resources
    Funds Donor Recognition Donate to MoMM News Press Room Media Coverage Notes Newsletter Shop Browse Store Policies Privacy Policy Ukulele Resources Ukulele History The Ukulele at Wikipedia Nalu Music Site John King s website that includes many historical anecdotes Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum information about ukulele players makers music and history ChordMaster org an insightful humorous site dedicated to the history of Mario Maccaferri s 1950s invention an automatic ukulele chording accessory Ukulele Music on the Web UkeCast A regular podcast featuring ukulele music and informative educational articles and events UkeFarm Streaming ukulele music 24 7 Ukulele Online Communities Discussion Forums Flea Market Music A repository of ukulele links artists store calendar of nationwide events more UkeTalk Ukulele Cosmos The 4th Peg Ukulelia com A regulary updated web journal of ukulele news and events Ukulele Manufacturers Tiki King Beltona Resonator Instruments DaSilva Ukulele Company Renaissance Guitars Flea Market Music C F Martin Co Kepasa Ukulele Earnest Instruments National Resophonic Tony Graziano Ukuleles and Guitars Pohaku Ukulele Kamaka Ukulele RISA Musical Instruments Road Toad Music GString Ukuleles Kanile a Ukulele Local Ukulele Clubs Festivals Organizations San Diego Ukulele Festival Santa Cruz Ukulele Club South Bay Strummers Los Angeles CA Kolohe

    Original URL path: http://www.museumofmakingmusic.org/uke-resources (2016-02-18)
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