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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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A Landscape Set to Music

A Landscape Set to Music

(p.74) Chapter 5 A Landscape Set to Music
The Ukulele

Jim Tranquada

John King

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines Richard Walton Tully's The Bird of Paradise, a play about the ill-fated love between a Hawaiian princess and a Yankee adventurer. Capturing the public's imagination, the play boasted elaborate stage effects, an erupting volcano, and a quintet of Hawaiian musicians that put Hawaiian music before its first real national audience. Although Hawaiian acts had become increasingly common in vaudeville, for many on the mainland, Tully's play was their first exposure to modern Hawaiian music and the first time they had seen or heard the ʻukulele. Adding to the Bird's impact was its use of Hawaiian settings in a melodrama, rather than as objects of comic condescension.

Keywords:   Richard Walton Tully, The Bird of Paradise, Hawaiian musicians, Hawaiian music, ʻukulele

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