February 2 – World Play Your Ukulele Day

Posted on February 2, 2014

The website that declares today “World Play Your Ukulele Day” says that the goal is to change the world “four strings at a time”!

The ukulele is a small guitar that originated in Hawaii. The Hawaiians based their instrument on the machete, which normally means a huge knife but in this case means a stringed instrument brought by Portuguese immigrants to Hawaii in the 1800s.

Did you know that the Hawaiian word “ukulele” translates (roughly) to “jumping flea”? I suppose that is what the fingers dancing over the strings reminded someone who coined the word.

It's not just Hawaiian anymore...

  • Not that there is anything wrong with Hawaiian music! Oh, my gosh, you have to check out the music video of Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwoʻole's version of “Somehwere Over the Rainbow”! How gorgeous!
  • And here is Hawaiian musician Jake Shimabukuro playing “Bohemian Rhapsody” on ukulele. 
  • Canadian musician James Hill plays his ukulele in some pretty creative ways! 
  • And here is a homemade video by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; they're singing a song and playing a ukulele (her) and a guitar (him).

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