View Full Version : why is it called a concert size uke instead of alto uke

01-31-2012, 07:38 AM
Seems to make sense to follow the convention of soprano, alto, tenor, baritone. doesn't it?

01-31-2012, 07:48 AM
I believe that there have been times when a concert uke was called an Alto.

The Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass model has a long history with meanings of each term that have changed with the times and instrumentation. These four names can indicate different singing ranges, different voice types/colours or different functions within four part harmony (or countless other things).

The whole thing is further muddled because Sopranos and Concerts (and often Tenor) ukes have the same tuning. The only thing different is the size. Typically instruments that have the exact same tuning and are played with the same fingerings would all be said to be in the same range (ie: soprano, alto, tenor or bass).

01-31-2012, 07:57 AM
I once heard that the concert was called a "tenor" when it was invented.

01-31-2012, 09:07 AM
Various companies made "tenor" ukuleles, but they ranged in sizes. The Johnny Marvin Professional Tenor Uke, for example, is actually a modern concert size. I'm not sure when the sizes became uniform, but I suspect that most companies followed the established Martin sizes after awhile.