The ukulele (pronounced
/ˌjʉːkəˈlɛɪli/ from the Hawaiian ʻukulele pronounced
/ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ/) is a
musical instrument with four strings. It is also called the uke for short. Ukuleles are part of the
guitar family of instruments. The strings are usually tuned G, C, E, A' or A, D, F#, B. Ukuleles normally have
nylon strings or gut strings.
Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor and baritone. Sopranino and bass ukuleles also exist. Sopraninos are tuned to standard tuning, however, baritone ukuleles are tuned to D, G, B, E (the top four strings of a
guitar). Bass ukuleles are tuned E, A, D, G (
bass guitar and
double bass tuning).
The ukulele was invented in the 19th Century in
Hawaii, where people got the idea from small guitar-like instruments known as
cavaquinhos brought to the island by