There are two basic things that distinguish a soprano ukulele from a concert ukulele:
(A) In sopranos, the “s”s are in a higher register than on concert ukuleles – they may be double notes, or single notes when raised high. These notes are referred to as “instruments” or “elements” in classical music. (B) Unlike a concert ukulele, a concert ukulele has a thin neck, a “drum” in the center of the “shell” below the “drum” and a string in a special position in the “shell” above the strings. This allows a concert ukulele to play fast, “bop” or high pitched notes (and also to lower than normal pitch) which is a natural effect of the shell.
Does a soprano ukulele have to be played in a concert hall?
While the ukulele is considered a concert instrument in Europe, the American National Association does not recognize a soprano ukulele. In the United States there are many fine concert instruments, many of which are made on woodworking machines. An ukulele can be made on an ordinary workshop where the soprano ukulele was custom made and the machine tools are used to make the exact same instrument as if it were made in concert with a concert ukulele. There is no such thing as a soprano uke in the United States. But because ukulele can be so popular in the United States, many American students of classical music enjoy playing them. But to see one at an orchestra concert is a rare occurrence. If you do want to see one, you will be waiting a while as there are few public ukulele collections in the United States.
How do I buy a concert ukulele or soprano ukulele in the United States?
If you live in San Diego, Arizona in the United States, your best option for getting a concert ukulele or soprano ukulele is through the American National Museum of Music which specializes in classical musical instruments and provides them only to its members. There are three San Diego locations: San Diego College of Music (SCTM) on University Avenue between North Mission and Mission streets and the San Diego Symphony (SDSU), located on North Harbor Drive
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