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Musical Ornamentation as History: The Hawaiian Steel Guitar

  • Mantle Hood


Prior to World War II, Hawaiian music claimed enthusiastic audiences throughout the world. In some countries there were local performers of Hawaiian music who had never even visited the Islands. Although that popularity has greatly diminished, it is still surprisingly alive in such places as Japan, Indonesia, Canada, England, Holland, Sweden and elsewhere in Europe.1 Without exception, the most famous performers in these countries are masters of the Hawaiian steel guitar.2 In fact, the sound of the steel guitar is considered the hallmark of Hawaiian music.



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Bellwood, Peter. 1979 Man's Conquest of the Pacific. New York: Oxford University Press.
Carr, Elizabeth P. 1972 Da Kine Talk. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.
Gear, Robert. 1981 “Hawaiian Music, Style and Stylists of the Islands,” Frets Magazine (May): 34–36
Hood, Mantle 1970 “Effect of Medieval Technology on Musical Style in the Orient,” Selected Reports (Vol. I, No. 3): 147170.
Hood, Mantle 1971 The Ethnomusicologist. New York: McGrow-Hill.
Hood, Mantle 1977 The Nuclear Theme as a Determinant of Patet in Javanese Music. Groningen:
Wolters, J.B., 1954; reprinted, New York: Da Capo.
Kanabele, George, Editor. 1979 Hawaiian Music and Musicians, An Illustrated History. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Roberts, Helon 1967 Ancient Hawaiian Music. New York: Dover.
Topolinski, John R. Kaha'i 1976Na Mele Ohana (Family Songs),” Ha'ilono Mele, Hood, Mantle, ed. (Vol. II, Nos. 1, 2. 3): 3–6, 26, 36.

Musical Ornamentation as History: The Hawaiian Steel Guitar

  • Mantle Hood


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