Hawaiian wedding songs

Hawaiian Wedding Music: Songs for Ukulele or Slack Key Guitar

Wedding music during your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception sets a mood and reflects the style of your celebration. Your music selection can be a fun way to personalize your special day. While trying to pick songs that move or inspire you, it can be overwhelming with seemingly infinite choices. It is not every day that you and your friends discuss, “What are popular ukulele songs for a wedding ceremony?”

The good news is that Hawaiian music features some of the world’s most beautiful love songs. Be careful though because what sounds like a beautiful song might be a protest song or too risqué when you delve into the lyrics. It pays to do a little homework on Hawaiian songs to make sure that the poetry is befitting of your wedding. Read this article, “Wedding Music Police.” Read more →

Slack Key Guitar New York

What Is Slack Key Guitar?

Kī hōʻalu, which literally means “loosen the key,” is a uniquely Hawaiian folk tradition born in the 1800s. Slack key guitar is often confused with and actually pre-dates the more well known Hawaiian lap steel that developed in the late 1880s or 1890s. Slack key was developed by Hawaiian cowboys who “slacked” the strings of guitars brought by Mexican and Spanish cowboys hired by King Kamehameha III to teach Hawaiians better ranching methods. Slack key may be played on any type of guitar but most often an acoustic guitar is used. The strings or “keys” are slacked to produce many beautiful tunings. In 2005, the slack key guitar tradition received national exposure when the compilation Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2 won Best Hawaiian Music Album at the 47th Annual GRAMMY Awards. For more information on Hawaiian slack key guitar, read Dancing Cat Production’s Slack Key Information Booklet.

slack key guitar

Slack Key Guitar Tunings

Once closely guarded family secrets, slack key guitar tunings fall into five basic categories: Major, Wahine, Mauna Loa, Niʻihau/Old Mauna Loa and miscellaneous. Tunings were often passed down within a family and unique styles developed within a region of an island. Even today, slack key artists are likely to draw from the traditions of the area where they grew up and from the music of their ʻohana (family.)

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