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Introduced to the Hawaiian Islands by Portuguese immigrants, the Ukulele was developed in the 1880's from a lineage of small guitar-like instruments. While the word ukulele is often translated as “jumping flea,” Hawaiian Queen Liliʻuokalani, said it means “the gift that came here,” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift or reward) and lele (to come). Its small fingerboard and soft nylon strings make for easy chording, and its gentle voice can be quite soothing.

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