Ke Kukima Polinahe…
The Hawaiian word polinahe means both “sweet, gentle music” and “narrow waisted.” And kukima is the Hawaiian way to pronounce “dulcimer”… What better name for this sweet-voiced, gentle Appalachian folk instrument?
I first heard Hawaiian music as a young boy – I can remember drowsing under a palm tree while the sweet strains of ÿukulele and steel guitar wafted across the pool. Maybe it was a dream – but the music stayed with me.
My first experience with the dulcimer in the 1960s was similar – somehow the music and the instrument seemed so right. So perhaps it was inevitable that I try to combine the two – slack key played on the Appalachian dulcimer. It isn’t as crazy as it sounds – Appalachian music and post-Contact Hawaiian songs share many of the same church hymns and folk melodies, And both the dulcimer and slack key guitar use open tunings. And both sound so sweet – what the Hawaiians call nahenahe.
So here it is: the first-ever collection of classic Hawaiian ki ho`alu music arranged for the Appalachian dulcimer – “Hi`ilawe,” the essential Hawaiian song about an illicit love affair; “Tiare Tahiti,” a beautiful Tahitian melody, King Kalakaua’s immortal “Sweet Leilehua” – and many more.
• Complete transcriptions of the CD
• Tablature and standard notation
• Notes on the tunings, reading music and reading TAB
• Learn to play these classic songs:
Pupu O Ewa
Ahe Lau Makani
Nanea Kou Maka i ka Le‘ale‘a
Kaulana Na Pua
Pauoa Liko ka Lehua
Ua Like No a Like
“Beautiful songs and great arrangements that transport my lovely Appalachian dulcimer instantly to Hawaii! These songs make my dulcimer sound like a different instrument all together! Love it!” – Amazon Customer
Audio files available here.