- Paperback: 296 pages
- Publisher: Latitude 20; Annotated edition edition (May 31, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0824836340
- ISBN-13: 978-0824836344
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #451,531 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The ‘Ukulele: A History Paperback – May 31, 2012
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If any recent work is a labor of love, this is it. The authors clearly have a great fondness for the ‘ukulele, and they have written a cultural history of an instrument of which probably few historians. . .had previous knowledge. They demonstrate decisively that there is a lot more to the 'ukulele than one could possibly have imagined, and an inquiry into its past reveals much about political, economic, and cultural trends in Hawai'i and its often troubled relationship with the mainland. . . .[T]here is much to admire in a book that gives the ‘ukulele its proper due and thereby makes a fine contribution to cultural history. Source: Pacific Historical Review
[T]he ‘ukulele is presented in its many historical and social contexts, and given unprecedented historical depth that is by turns both wryly amusing and genuinely inspiring. . . . This book is a remarkable tribute to the scholarship and musicological drive of the two authors, and to the determination of Tranquada in ensuring the book reached publication. Source: Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies
This is the outstanding scholarly work on the history of the ukulele. The result of seven years' research and study, it is painstakingly notated and sourced. Source: The Ukulele Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney and Tom Hodgkinson
For ‘ukulele enthusiasts, [this book] is a must read. Source: Choice
A fascinating muscial and social history that not only supports Tranquada and King’s argument for a rehabilitation of the instrument’s image, but also sets the stage for a full-scale ‘ukulele revival. Source: Foreword
Those unfamiliar with the history of the instrument will learn a tremendous amount here. . . . Though neither author is an academic, their scholarship is impressive. They include 85 pages of appendixes and footnotes to satisfy more ambitious fans. Verdict: The book’s chapters make for quick, enjoyable reading for a general audience. Recommended for any comprehensive music collection (and, really, for any popular music collection). Source: Library Journal Xpress Reviews
A finely crafted, academically researched history of the ‘ukulele. . . . Tranquada and King succeed in providing further proof that the ‘ukulele’s place in music and pop culture history will stand the test of time. Source: http://www.hawaiibookblog.com/articles/the-ukulele-a-history-book-review/
Context Finally! . . . Thought Provoking . . . Great Pictures . . . Well Researched. . . If you care about the history of the ukulele you have to buy [this book]. It’s the definitive book on the subject. There’s no other book that comes close to it. Source: Uke Hunt
The authors have produced the most thoroughly documented history of the ‘ukulele. Author: Byron K. Yasui, professor emeritus, Department of Music, University of Hawai‘i
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During visits to the Ukulele Guild Exhibition in Honolulu I had the real pleasure of seeing and hearing co-author John King (recently deceased) talk about the ukulele and perform. He was simply a genius. This book reflects that. Take a look at this scholarly work......HALF of it is footnotes and index!!! But it reads like a novel. The two authors set up the milieu of where the ukulele came (Madiera/Portugal) from and the setting it came to (Hawaii). Then they magically take you through the journey of this amazing instrument to the U.S. Mainland and through the decades. It's wonderful. And the photos and graphics are soooo fun and informative. There are lots of turn-of-the-century photos, ads, posters that make this history come alive. The reader is taken through all the ups and downs of the popularity of the ukulele, right up to the explosion that is happening today.
Like I said, I have seen NO other source that so entertainingly shows the ukulele and all its practitioners through the years. Wonderful. That's why I am giving this as gifts to all my friends interested in this special diminutive instrument.
you have been waiting for. It is a fitting memorial to John King's extraordinary dedication
in mapping out the Journey of the ukulele's invention.
The detail of his research is forensic. The footnotes alone are completely invaluable to
any historian or enthusiast.
The internet is awash with potted histories which have little value and are full of inaccuracies.
Forget about them and enjoy a real authoritative and fascinating story of how
a diminutive four-stringed, figure of eight, koa wood chordophone conquered the world.
Congratulations to Jim Tranquada for seeing this project through.
Oh if only there were accompanying photographs of instruments by key makers!
For that you will have to seek out a copy of the Tony Ku Collection or visit
The Ukulele Hall of Fame reference section.
One important component to The Ukulele: A History, is how many footnotes are in the book. Many chapters have over one hundred footnotes. It is a well researched book with many historical pictures.