I am an acoustic musician and would like to learn the way of the concert ukulele (soprano or violin).
Please read how to choose a soprano (or violin). You will read how the ukulele is built, but not much about it or its playing.
What is a soprano?
One would think that the instrument was invented by a German and was made in Germany. This is not so. There are three varieties of the soprano. The first were made in France by the French manufacturer, Lafarge, and called the Les Cinq. They were made during the 1730ís in two different sizes. Each size contained two hands and four strings.
A second variety of soprano, which was still in production, was made primarily for the Paris and London markets by the Dutch manufacturer, P&G, and called the Besson. It came with only one hand and three strings. These have an “on” finger, which means that you would play it with your fingers instead of a “off” finger. This is not all that unusual, but it does seem to be the “standard” version.
Finally a third series of sopranos came out of Berlin by the German manufacturer, Gertler. These come with one hand and two strings.
There are various instruments in between, but they all share a basic shape, making them easy to identify. Most are rectangular. The most common example is a small French-made “lullaby” (a type of double horn). These are very popular, with some over $300 on the market.
Why is that so? Why did it develop this shape in the first place?
The best answer is that there was a common feature in the French, German, and Dutch makers that was common to the rest of Europe. They each created instruments that were the same shape but had the same size (that is, had the same fingerboard and fingerboard fingerboard). The French were able to get rid of the “on” finger on their “soprano.” The German, however, wanted to keep them in the shape they had.
They decided to have a smaller ukulele, as a bigger ukulele did not have enough fingers to create “harmony.” This is why they all use an elongated ukulele and have the same fingerboard.
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