The Ukulele: The Expansion Of Hawaiian Culture

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Media Outbreak: The Ukulele Music is an important aspect in every culture, especially the Hawaiian culture. In ancient Hawaii, stories are passed down to generations with Hawaiian songs in the Hawaiian language. Today, however, Hawaiian music is usually in English and about aspects of the Hawaiian island life. There is one component of Hawaiian music that has spread worldwide, which is the beloved ukulele. This dissemination leads to an expansion of Hawaiian music and the Hawaiian culture. However, the ukulele had its ups and downs of being in the spotlight in the mainland. There are several reasons why the ukulele became popular, such as the patronage of King David Kalakaua, the rise of the recording industry, and the development of…show more content…
Jim Tranquada is the director of communications at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California and he is the great-great grandson of the ukulele pioneer, Augusto Dias. And John King teaches guitar at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, Florida and he is acknowledged as one of the modern masters of the ukulele. In their academic journal, there are uncertainties. According to King and Tranquada, “[Dias, Nunes, and Santo]...were recorded as marceneiros rather than violeiros” (7). Marceneiros are cabinetmakers and violeiros are stringed-instrument makers. Exactly how did these three men learn to make a wooden instrument, which is a complicated task, without prior experience. It is possible that they had experience back in Portugal, but there is no hard-proof evidence. The authors, Tranquada and King, also contribute to the bias of the source. Both authors are supporters of the ukulele, so naturally they would praise the invention of the ukulele instead of mentioning the positives and the negatives of the…show more content…
Similar to the outcome of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, manufacturers cannot keep up with the high demand of the ukulele. Even during an economic downturn, manufacturers, like Da Silva, are still selling ukuleles at high prices. Fost states, “Artisan music makers...who makes ukes that sell for $600 to $3,000, said they have waiting lists stretching out more than a year” (par 5) A decent, functioning ukulele can cost as low as 50 dollars. The fact that there are people willing to pay up to thousands of dollars is astonishing. However, those willing to pay that much are most likely committed ukulele players. The amount of money someone is willing to spend gives an outlook on the commitment and passion people have for the ukulele. As for the Kala Brand Music, they “sold nearly 100,000 ukuleles last year, up 75% from the previous year, and is likely to grow 50% more this year to nearly $4 million in sales” (Fost, par 16). These are impressive numbers that Dias, Nunes, and Santo probably would have never imagined in the

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