Category Archives: Songbooks

Slack Key / Kī Hō’alu: Reading ABOUT it

A followup to the previous post that provides recommendations for listeners to explore the diversity within the Hawaiian slack key / kī hō’alu guitar tradition. This post provides recommendations for information-rich resources to read. 1. Writing ABOUT Hawaiian Slack Key … Continue reading

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Slack Key Guitar / Kī Hō‘alu: A Listening Guide

Kī hō‘alu literally means “loosen the key.” It characterizes the Hawaiian playing style, in which the standard guitar tuning is altered by slackening the strings.  The playing style, executed by a single player, combines plucking a bass line on the … Continue reading

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SONGS: Hiilawe [Hi‘ilawe]

Dear Readers, it has been a month since my last post. I have not been idle; like so many others, I am struggling to stay afloat in the riptides . . . Like so many others, I mourned Whitney Houstonʻs … Continue reading

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The Published Hawaiian Songbooks of Charles E. King

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When I was growing up, Kingʻs Blue Book and the Green Book enjoyed the status of “bibles” of Hawaiian music. One or both volumes could be found in many a piano bench across the islands. Seekers of songs were often … Continue reading

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Hawaiian Steel Guitar Resources: A Selection

The steel guitar is one of the iconic sounds of Hawaiian music. And yet . . . depending on whether you see the proverbial glass half full or half empty, there are many many sources of information out there . … Continue reading

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ʻUkulele Resources: A Selection

Aloha Dear Readers! I am a historian. I love sources. So here is another list of some notable resources about ‘ukulele. Some resources. 1. Websites Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. A nonprofit organization founded in 1996 and dedicated to preserving … Continue reading

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Mele Hawai‘i — Historical Sources

Related posts: Mele Hawai‘i —  An Introduction (September 24, 2009) Mele Hawai‘i Playlist for my UH course on Hawaiian music (August 29,2010) Lili‘uokalani’s “He Buke Mele Hawaii” 1897 (July 29, 2010) Some Comments on The Queen’s Songbook (July 19, 2010) … Continue reading

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Some comments on “The Queenʻs Songbook”

The Buke Mele Hawaii, composed & written by Lili‘uokalani, is a very special treasure. The last ruling monarch of the independent Kingdom of Hawai‘i, Lili‘uokalani was a prolific haku mele, a poet of exquisite expression, and also a pianist and … Continue reading

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