Friday, March 23, 2012

Anyone for Ukulele?

A stringed instrument shaped like a very small guitar with only four strings, the ukulele became extremely popular in the United States in the early part of the twentieth century.  It continued to be a favorite until its gradual decline in the 1970s, though a more recent upswing in popularity has brought the uke back into the public eye.  Part of the ukulele's popularity was its relatively low cost and ease of transport, which made it very popular among amateur musicians.  Music publishers quickly realized that they could cash in on this phenomenon and began selling sheet music to popular songs with special ukelele chord tablature or fingerings.

Rauner Library has an extensive sheet music collection and over a thousand of these pieces contain ukulele chord diagrams.  These range from classic opera such as a sextet from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor to Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher to the title track from Singin' in the Rain.

To see all of the ukulele sheet music pieces, search the library catalog and ask for your favorite.

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