Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Archive for September, 2009

This post has been updated on the 4th of June 2020 : links that were broken have been updated.

As a great admirer of Alfred Deller, the first thing I did when I started to play the ukulele was to look for arrangements of pieces he had sung,  especially traditional folksongs and songs by John Dowland that I could picture being played on a ukulele. I did find a few traditional songs at the time but nothing by John Dowland.

Then about a month ago, I discovered Jamie Holding‘s arrangements. Jamie Holding, a young musician from near York is initially a guitar and lute player but has recently been smitten by the ukulele virus. To date, he has written 2 e-books, Blame not my uke (30 easy ukulele pieces arranged from the lute) and John Dowland – 18 pieces which you can purchase by sending him an email at

Sharing Jamie‘s interest in Renaissance music and the ukulele, I have asked him a few questions.

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Today I found out that the Polish video in my post on Polish and Ukrainian ukulele videos had been removed by the user.

I therefore looked for other Polish ukulele videos and found this original instrumental piece

That very same Polish ukulele player has also uploaded a video where we can see how he is building a ukulele, a very fascinating process :

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A funny German contest caught my attention last week. To participate, people had to create a commercial for the ukulele. The video had to be no longer than 1 minute and to make people feel like playing the ukulele.
Here is the winner video (don’t try this with your ukulele):

In this next video the commercial is trying to convince the unsuccessful guitar player to switch over to playing the ukulele.

Not part of the same contest, but here is …

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Today’s videos will be a display of ukulele-, language- and video editing skills. We’ll be listening to Japanese, Swiss-German and Spanish (Cuba).

Sebi is Italian and lives in Switzerland and obviously is a multilinguist. It always makes me happy to listen to people singing in multiple languages !
Listen to Sebi singing in Japanese in this Japanese ballad called Koko ni iru yo. Thanks to Herman for pointing this video out to me.

…or in Swiss-German in …

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Herman Vandecauter from Belgium is primarily a pro classical guitarist and mandolinist, but he took up the ukulele in January 2009 and quickly found out how to get the best sound out of it.
Before I ask him a few questions, let’s hear a video of him playing Courante by German lutenist Sylvius Leopold Weiss. I find this piece really soothing after a stressful day.

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