February 2021 Oracle

plastic. You can be a musician for as cheap as $29. 6. ORPS Ukulele Players can play this. Jason Mraz ’ s 2008 single “ I ’ m Yours ” is the best - selling ukulele song of all time. After spending 76 weeks on Bill- board ’ s Hot 100 chart, it broke a record for the number of consecutive weeks spent on the chart. 7. From the UK to the CV. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain was formed in the 1960s and is still hugely popular. They regularly perform worldwide to great critical acclaim and performed at the McCallum Theater in 2019. Watch their entertaining videos on YouTube. 8. To infinity and beyond! The first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, loved to play the ukulele. In fact, after visiting the moon he spent several weeks in quarantine strumming his ukulele, as scientists at the time feared he may have picked up strange bacteria while in space. 9. Encore! Encore! While you've probably known this tiny four - stringed instrument as a you - ka - lay - lee, that's an anglicized version of a Hawaiian word. The

UKULELE CLUB February 2, 2021 is National Ukulele Day when ukulele players from around the country and even at ORPS will strum their favorite tunes to celebrate. To get non - ukers up to speed, here ’ s some fun facts about that happy musical instrument. Happy is so true; just try to say ukulele without smiling. 1. The ukulele is not a Hawaiian invention. The birth of the ukulele dates back to 1879 with the landing of Portuguese sailors on Hawaii. The instrument descended from an instrument called a machete brought to the islands. The most common assumption is that “ uku ” and “ lele ” mean “ jumping flea ” because when the Portugese sailors arrived in Hawaii, the Hawaiians saw the players ’ fingers jumping over the fretboard so quickly. According to historians, Queen Lili ’ uokalani (who wrote Aloha`Oe) gave the word a poetic twist by using the other meanings of “ uku ” and “ lele ”: “ gift ” and “ come ”. This made it signify “ a gift that came to us from far away ”. 2. 2. The ukulele overtook the guitar several times almost. In the 1920s, the traditional manufacturer C. F. Martin Guitar, among others, sold as many ukuleles as guitars. During this economic time, the affordable ukulele enabled many manufacturers to survive the difficult years. At the beginning of the 1950s, a plastic ukulele series was manufactured. In the 1960s the ukulele began to be used in schools for music education in Canada. 3. No Beatles, No Uke. We are currently experiencing the third wave of success of the ukulele, which is significantly reinforced by the Internet. This euphoria began in the mid - 1990s, with an ABC documentary about The Beatles in which George Harrison and Paul McCartney come out as ukulele fans. The ukulele rapidly regained popularity. George Harrison is one of the most important characters in the story of the ukulele. He always advocated this instrument. Before he passed away, he collected hundreds of ukuleles and was often seen strumming them or giving them away to friends. 4. Tip Toe Through the Tulips Over the Rainbow. The ukulele made it to the top of the music charts in 1968 with Tiny Tim's "Tiptoe Through the Tulips. ” The ukulele anthem par excellence is “ Somewhere Over the Rainbow ” by Israel Kamakawiwo ’ ole. Did you know that the “ gentle giant ”, as he was called, died unfortunately in 1997. 5. Pick and strum. Early ukulele strings were made from cat or sheep gut. Most modern ukulele strings are now made of nylon, but you can still find gut strings at specialty shops. Ukuleles most commonly have four strings. The tuning of a four string ukulele is to the notes G, C, E, A. Common ukuleles include the soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone sizes. Traditional and more expensive ukuleles are made of acacia koa wood or mahogany. Cheaper versions are made of laminate or plywood, or even spruce or

Hawaiian pronunciation is oo - koo - ley ley. Pronounce it Hawaiian style, and an ukulele sounds just fine.

The ORPS Ukulele Group meets Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2:00 - 4:00. Returning strummers are welcome to join us this season. Those who already play ukulele and/or guitar, and interested beginners, can start their ukulele journey next season. Contact Marilyn for more information at marilyn.sabens@gmail.com Happy National Ukulele Day! Aloha.

Marilyn Sabens Ukulele Club Director




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