The Ukulele Player


Photographer Unknown, (The Ukulele Player)

“At the ukulele workshop that summer. He lectured on the four-note chord in the context of timelessness, and described himself then as a Quaternionist. We had quickly discovered our common love of the instrument,” Miles recalled,“ and discussed the widespread contempt in which ukulele players are held— traceable, we concluded, to the uke’s all-but-exclusive employment as a producer of chords—single, timeless events apprehended all at once instead of serially.

Notes of a linear melody, up and down a staff, being a record of pitch versus time, to play a melody is to introduce the element of time, and hence of mortality. Our perceived reluctance to leave the timelessness of the struck chord has earned ukulele players our reputation as feckless, clownlike children who will not grow up.”
Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

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