The Ukulele and How it's Played, Kaai, 1916 now freely available in digital form

MichaelMeekins89

New member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
1
Points
3
Thank you for letting us now about this. I've been searching for this book for many years! My dad used to have it after his grandparents, but after many moves, it has been lost somewhere. Fortunately it's online and it's better than nothing. I have to show it to him! :D
 

wqking

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
181
Points
18
Can you download it? It's very slow to access that page and the pdf. Maybe the website limits non-US access?
 

badhabits

Active member
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
517
Points
28
thanks for that. the view/open button downloads as well; it may take a few sec on a slower connection.
 

M3Ukulele

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 20, 2013
Messages
1,478
Points
48
I’ve never herd of this book. Is their some history to it that makes it a good read or is it more nostalgic for the period? Is there a view to read a chapter on that site before committing to the whole PDF file?
thanks
 

etisdale

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
17
Points
3
Can you download it? It's very slow to access that page and the pdf. Maybe the website limits non-US access?
I did notice this morning some sluggishness with accessing the page I linked to above. But that link is their preferred link (as stated on the page).

You could also try searching for the book here: https://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu

Enter "Kaai":

1631715165663.png

And your search for "Kaai" should put you here where you can continue to click through:
1631715214956.png
 

etisdale

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
17
Points
3
I’ve never herd of this book. Is their some history to it that makes it a good read or is it more nostalgic for the period? Is there a view to read a chapter on that site before committing to the whole PDF file?
thanks
Ernest Kaai is credited with the first ukulele method book in 1906. It was called The ukulele, a Hawaiian guitar and how to play it. Kaai's 1906 book was revised, and the revised edition was released in 1910. (See for more: http://nalu-music.com/?p=13 ) There are at least two facsimiles of Kaai's first book currently available for purchase. (See here, for example: http://nalu-music.com/?page_id=63 ) Here's an example tune (Maile Waltz) from Kaai's first book played by John King:

The ukulele and how it's played is Kaai's second book. It is more extensive than the first. Here's an example of Aaron Keim playing Banjo Schottische from Kaai's second book:

I enjoyed learning the tunes and techniques in the first book, so I requested the second book be scanned. Also, I paid for the scan, but you don't have to! Now that The ukulele and how it's played has been scanned, UH is making it freely available to everyone in their digital repository as above.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
1,945
Points
63
Thanks I was not aware of the second book, which has also improved tabulation with with regular scores.
 

PeteyHoudini

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,194
Points
38

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,856
Points
48
That was nice they scanned it. This book is included on page 49 in the following publication that contains many early Hawaiian methods:

Hawaiian Ukulele: The Early Methods
CENTERBROOK Publishing
ISBN 1574240528
ISBN 13: 9781574240528

View attachment 135816

I bought it many years back. It's great. Seems hard to find now.

WorldCat library catalogue record
https://www.worldcat.org/title/collection-of-popular-early-hawaiian-ukulele-methods/oclc/41923766
Is the book actually useful or is it more of antiquarian interest? In the past you've championed things like Roy Smeck's stuff which is applicable, but I can imagine that there is a lot of stuff in your library which is more twee and not relevant to a modern musician.
 

PeteyHoudini

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,194
Points
38
BTW - I have a twitter account but not ready to start really posting until my new blog website is secure.... damn GoDaddy hosting service says my WordPress site has been hacked in Google's indexing but not as a site itself. The site is fine. Damn, you pay GoDaddy good money and they fail you like a real jerk.

Anyway, back to the topic. Ukes and songbooks. The odds of getting your hands on that book is next to nothing now after my researches online so your question is not required. I don't have a clue why. The book is toast. It's an interesting compilation of old Hawaiian methods in a non-spiral bound book. If you think the published Hawawiian culture of ukulele methods are no longer useful to "a modern musician," you'd better give up the blues and jazz my friend. This music is their history. These days, try to look for a sheet music collection containing the song "Aloha Oe" and almost NONE contain the Hawaiian words. This collection of mine here has 3-4 interesting versions of the song in English and Hawaiian. That is a gem unto itself. Still, this is not for everyone. Indeed, I have a esoteric collection of many uke books and that's how I built my uke music on the shoulder of the uke giants who came before me. Long live the Hawaiians!

Smeck's playing is not for everyone. I am an advanced player but I have gotten into many methods.... do you think that the George Formby banjo uke style is not uselful for modern players? I went to England to learn it. I ended up using this style in a few of my modern songs. Makes them more interesting. Anyway, I'm not hear to battle. Just to share.

You've just been asking questions and that is good. Here's how I took an old 60s folk song and transformed it a uke song with old 1940s Formby split-stroke playing. haha

 

ripock

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
1,856
Points
48
thanks for the explanation. What I meant is that sometimes what is revolutionary for old books is taken for granted in more contemporary methods. So I was essentially asking if this book had something new to offer or if we are already living by its tenets since newer pedagogy is based on the older stuff that was successful.
 

PeteyHoudini

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,194
Points
38
thanks for the explanation. What I meant is that sometimes what is revolutionary for old books is taken for granted in more contemporary methods. So I was essentially asking if this book had something new to offer or if we are already living by its tenets since newer pedagogy is based on the older stuff that was successful.
No worries. I get it. But it's my inner ukulele archeology. I explore it all and share.

Petey
 

etisdale

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
17
Points
3
That was nice they scanned it. This book is included on page 49 in the following publication that contains many early Hawaiian methods:

Hawaiian Ukulele: The Early Methods
CENTERBROOK Publishing
ISBN 1574240528
ISBN 13: 9781574240528

View attachment 135816

I bought it many years back. It's great. Seems hard to find now.

WorldCat library catalogue record
https://www.worldcat.org/title/collection-of-popular-early-hawaiian-ukulele-methods/oclc/41923766
Thanks for the recommendation! I found a used but new-looking copy online. I just received it today. Looks good. I'm looking forward to digging in.
 

PeteyHoudini

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,194
Points
38
Thanks for the recommendation! I found a used but new-looking copy online. I just received it today. Looks good. I'm looking forward to digging in.
No problem. There's LOT in that collection of collections and lots of TABs too. In the contents page, there is a special thanks to a few people like Jim Beloff.

Glad you could find a copy. I buy used copies of sheet music collections all the time. It's funny when you see people's names, addresses and phone numbers written in the front pages of some of the collections. I want to phone them and ask them, "Why did you get rid of this?" haha

I don't know why this collection seems so hard to find.
 
Last edited:

etisdale

New member
Joined
Dec 1, 2010
Messages
17
Points
3
I don't know why this collection seems so hard to find.
What seems even harder to find is the second volume mentioned in the Forward: Mainland Ukulele, The Early Methods. I get the sense that it was never published.

Update (9/27/2021): I e-mailed the publisher (Centerstream Publishing). It turns out they had too many copyright issues to publish the second volume. Bummer! However, I was alerted to a number of more contemporary books that looked quite good.
 
Last edited: