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The UkuleleA History$
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Jim Tranquada and John King

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835446

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835446.001.0001

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These Little Instruments, of Which They Are So Fond

These Little Instruments, of Which They Are So Fond

(p.5) Chapter 1 These Little Instruments, of Which They Are So Fond
The Ukulele

Jim Tranquada

John King

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the string instruments in Madeira. Although the pianoforte dominated the European and American musical landscape in the mid-nineteenth century, it was the sound of stringed instruments that filled the air in Funchal, including the Spanish guitar and the guitarra, described as an “old English guitar, with six double wires.” By all accounts the chief ornament of Madeiran music making was the machete, “a small guitar, with four strings.” Some Madeirans regarded the machete as an island invention, but on an island that had served as an international entrepot since the fifteenth century, it seems more likely that it was introduced—possibly by immigrants from northern Portugal, from which two-thirds of the island's early settlers had come.

Keywords:   string instruments, Spanish guitar, guitarra, Madeiran music, machete

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