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The ukulele : A visual history Hardcover – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 130 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books; 2 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307585
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #905,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Visual" is the key word in the title of this thoroughly engaging look at a whimsical, diminutive instrument that's had much more influence on pop music and culture than one would initially guess. With its elaborate illustrations and eye-popping, color-drenched photos of ukuleles, famous players and manufacturers, sheet music and a wide variety of other memorabilia, The Ukulele traces the history of the instrument from its birth to present day with a fun text that's equally rich in trivia and history. As the instrument moves from turn of the century Hawaii to popularity on the Mainland, it helped boost tourism in Hawaii, influenced Tin Pan Alley songwriters and performers as diverse as Arthur Godfrey, Tiny Tim and Joni Mitchell, and became a key icon in advertising, even when the product had nothing to do with ukuleles. Author Beloff, the associate publisher of Billboard magazine, has written several ukulele songbooks and recorded a CD of original ukulele songs, and there couldn't be a better tour guide for time travel through the evolution of this wacky little instrument. His profiles of some of the great ukulele players and key manufacturers are particularly interesting, and he presents an intriguing look at Hawaii as a culture through the images projected of its most famous export to the rest of the world. Great fun and a good read. -- From Independent Publisher

The Ukulele is an entertaining look at this whimsical, diminutive instrument and its influence on popular music and pop culture worldwide. Elaborately illustrated, the color-rich book brings to life the "jumping flea" in a unique showcase of rare ukuleles, famous players and manufacturers, and witty memorabilia and artwork. With a fun-to-read historical narrative, The Ukulele traces the instrument's evolution from its 1800s roots to the current ukulele festival in hawaii and beyond. Richard in folklore as well as documented history, the uke's birth took place on August 23, 1879, when a ship arrive din Hawaii carrying 419 Portuguese settlers. Hawaiian music would never be the same again! --Midwest Book Review

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on November 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Now in a revised and expanded edition, The Ukulele: A Visual History by Jim Beloff is the fascinating and informative saga of this widespread and popular musical instrument. From the history and spread of the Ukulele since its origin in Portugal, to the great ukulele players, to the sagas of businesses that manufacture ukuleles, to the ukulele's impact on musical culture worldwide, and more, The Ukulele is simply packed from cover to cover with full color photographs. The Ukulele: A Visual History is a most enjoyable learning experience for anyone curious about this unique and popular instrument.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By N. Carey on September 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book and it fills a void with information about the 'ukulele that is not available elsewhere. The pictures are excellent and the writing is quite enjoyable. It's the sort of book that you're likely to read more than once. The only drawback is that I wish the book were bigger so that it would have lasted longer. On the less-than-positive side I was a bit disappointed that it didn't deal more deeply with the contemporary 'uke scene and glosses over some of the major players of today. Perhaps in the next new edition it will contain more of this type of info.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Gamble on August 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
great book, full of colour photos, covers from the most basic to the most up-market instruments. Excellent history of the instrument and also of the well known players, such as George Formby. Discusses some of the speciallised techniques used by these people. I look on it as the ukulele enthusiast's bible. Thoroughly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James D. Crabtree VINE VOICE on February 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've ever thought about owning a uke you should pick this book up and learn a little bit of the history behind it. Well worth it for the pictures if nothing else. Personally I would like some more comprehensive but until something else comes along this will have to do!
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