It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!
For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.
Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.
My kids are both musically inclined but in completely different ways. Though my son keeps them to himself, I know he composes otherworldly pieces of music electronically because I’ve heard a few. Move over Kitaro. In his head lies the largest song/artist knowledge bank of anyone I have ever known. My first inkling of this came about when he was six-years-old. He was sprawled on the floor drawing pictures one night while his 11-year-old sister and I were reading on the sofa. A piece of instrumental music came on that sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it. My daughter, the budding cellist, thought so too for she asked me what piece it was. I said I didn’t know. That’s when sonny boy spoke up from the floor and said it was the Montagues and Capulets. That compelled his older sister to tell him he “shouldn’t make things up”. But his answer struck a chord with me (no pun intended). It was Montagues and Capulets, also known as the Dance of the Knights, from Romeo and Juliet, a classical (and somewhat nightmarish piece) by Russian composer Sergei Prokofieva.
My daughter is more hands-on with music. She started with violin at age three but didn’t stay long. She wanted to play cello. We tried for years to get her into cello lessons but the only place teaching it had a waiting list a mile long. The new music teacher at the Montessori school where both kids attended discovered my then 9-year-old daughter had perfect pitch. The woman accosted me in the hall and demanded to know why this girl wasn’t in music lessons. Seriously, she demanded. I remember being so thrown by it I stammered when I explained how long we had been on the waiting list. Two days later my daughter had a cello instructor. She played for nine years. When my father passed away she played his favorite piece at his funeral and never played cello again. It still makes me sad to think about it. But she didn’t abandon music altogether. She self-teaches whatever instrument she wants to play and then moves on to the next. Her latest is the ukulele and she’s good! And that brings me to U.
The mini guitar-ish looking ukulele (the u is actually pronounced oo) sounds like a cross between a guitar and a melodic banjo and begins with two Portuguese instruments –the 4-string cavaquinho and the 5-string rajão. Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira brought their mini guitars with them when they came to work the Hawaiian sugar cane fields in the 1870s. The music was well-received. Spanish cabinet makers living on the island saw opportunity. They created hybrid copies out of native woods and the ukulele was born.
The Jumping Flea
The story goes, the native Hawaiians were impressed with the beautiful sounds the little guitars could make, but especially impressed with the Portuguese musicians’ fingers as they flew over the fingerboard. The natives called this instrument ukulele. From what I’ve read this roughly translates as jumping fleas (or lice). Name aside, I think it’s a lovely sound. The ukulele is the national instrument of Hawaii.
Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole was a very talented Hawaiian ukulele musician.
Sadly he passed away at age 38.
Long but interesting video on ukulele including history, cultural standing, and construction.
Do you have one? Here are some video lessons. Have fun! 🙂
Tomorrow ~ letter V!
My Other Happenings~
Weekend Writing Warriors
There’s still time to try my wild foods recipes on my other blog
Scroll back for all ten. Yum!
My Sexy Saturday
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Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
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