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Ukuleles are the national instument of Hawaii and there is no doubt that is where they were popularised in the form that we recognise today. But history suggests there were quite a few early versions appearing in Europe and one of these little instruments migrated to Hawaii onboard ship. The King of Hawaii really loved them and must have surely played one. It was quickly taken up by many and the ukulele as we know it was born and remains very much a symbol of Hawaii.
There is now a family of ukes that consist of Soprano, Concert, Tenor and Baritone with also slight variations in the number of strings added.