Definition of a Ukulele

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twsinstruments
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Definition of a Ukulele

Post by twsinstruments » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 pm

I've built several ukuleles, tenor and soprano over the last couple of years, well at least I thought I had. Recently I tried something different, being a soprano with a floating bridge and tailpiece. But GCEA tuning, 13 inch scale, usual body shape, etc and was informed that it is not a ukulele but a four string mandolin, despite the tuning. This got me wondering if there is a formal definition of what makes a uke, vs a mandolin, or for that matter some other form of instrument?
Trev

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kiwigeo
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Re: Definition of a Ukulele

Post by kiwigeo » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:23 pm

Without doing in depth research I believe a majority of modern mandolins have double metal strings or courses while ukes are predominantly single nylon stringed instruments. A lot of mandolins have carved backs and tops whereas ukes are predominantly flat topped and backed.
twsinstruments wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 pm
I've built several ukuleles, tenor and soprano over the last couple of years, well at least I thought I had. Recently I tried something different, being a soprano with a floating bridge and tailpiece. But GCEA tuning, 13 inch scale, usual body shape, etc and was informed that it is not a ukulele but a four string mandolin, despite the tuning. This got me wondering if there is a formal definition of what makes a uke, vs a mandolin, or for that matter some other form of instrument?
Trev
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Allen
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Re: Definition of a Ukulele

Post by Allen » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:59 am

A ukulele wouldn't have a tail piece and floating bridge. What you have is a hybrid instrument that is niether a uke or mando. Uke people are far mor accepting of instruments that don't fit the norm though. Whereas good luck with the mando crowd. :)
Allen R. McFarlen
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