Kika Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music

Kika Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music

by John W. Troutman

NOOK Book(eBook)

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Since the nineteenth century, the distinct tones of k&299;k&257; kila, the Hawaiian steel guitar, have defined the island sound. Here historian and steel guitarist John W. Troutman offers the instrument's definitive history, from its discovery by a young Hawaiian royalist named Joseph Kekuku to its revolutionary influence on American and world music. During the early twentieth century, Hawaiian musicians traveled the globe, from tent shows in the Mississippi Delta, where they shaped the new sounds of country and the blues, to regal theaters and vaudeville stages in New York, Berlin, Kolkata, and beyond. In the process, Hawaiian guitarists recast the role of the guitar in modern life. But as Troutman explains, by the 1970s the instrument's embrace and adoption overseas also worked to challenge its cultural legitimacy in the eyes of a new generation of Hawaiian musicians. As a consequence, the indigenous instrument nearly disappeared in its homeland.

Using rich musical and historical sources, including interviews with musicians and their descendants, Troutman provides the complete story of how this Native Hawaiian instrument transformed not only American music but the sounds of modern music throughout the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469627939
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/16/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 392
File size: 14 MB
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About the Author

John W. Troutman is Curator of American Music at the National Museum of American History.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

John W. Troutman's compelling and lovingly written book cements the centrality of the steel guitar, Kanaka Maoli musicians, and Hawaiian history in the evolution of American cultural history. Deeply informed by scholarship on music, expressive culture and performance, diaspora, imperialism, resistance, politics, economics, and more--all informed and reinvented through the lens of Indigenous studies--this is one of the most surprising and challenging cultural histories I've lately seen. Read here and learn that Kanaka Maoli people and the steel guitar are at the heart of it all.--Rayna Green, Curator Emerita, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

"K&299;k&257; Kila is a tour de force, documenting the steel guitar's indigenous Hawaiian roots, while also challenging longstanding conventions in the music industry and in scholarship on American popular music. Exhaustively researched and elegantly written, Troutman&699;s book is a gift of insight and appreciation for the steel guitar, arguably the most endearing sonic icon of Hawaiian music.--Amy Ku&699;uleialoha Stillman, Professor of American Culture and Music, University of Michigan

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