The most familiar Hawaiian instrument is the 'ukulele, a small type of guitar.
The instrument was modified to suit local musical tastes and the Hawaiian 'ukulele was born.Probably from the late 19th century, this work is among the oldest known 'ukulele.The 'ukulele found favor in the court of the Hawaiian King David Kal?kaua, a champion both of customary Hawaiian music and musical innovation. kaua's patronage, the 'ukulele was adapted to accompany hula dance performances, transforming the more sedate tempo of earlier types of hula into the more lively rhythm characteristic of many hula performances today.There are several accounts of how the 'ukulele got its name, which means "jumping flea." Edward Purvis, a small, lively musician popular in Kal?
kaua's court was reportedly nicknamed " 'uku lele" and the instrument may be named after him.
Alternatively, the rapid action of the musician's figures when playing possibly reminded Hawaiians of jumping fleas.
The name may also represent a modified version of 'ukeke, the term for the mouth bow, previously the only string instrument in Hawai'i.
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