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Sep 29, 2014

The Queen's Songbook

Queen Liliʻuokalani was considered an extraordinary musician.  In addition to composing a remarkable 150 songs, she played the piano, organ, ukulele, guitar and zither, and was an expert in sight-reading music.

The Queen’s Songbook is a collection of 55 of Liliʻuokalani’s compositions, and includes an essay on Liliʻuokalani and her music, historical commentary, translations, chronologies and photographs.  The book is a project of Hui Hānai, an auxiliary organization to the Children’s Center, which wanted to collect and publish the queen’s works to perpetuate her memory.

“The queen herself intended to do this, so we are carrying out her expressed desire and vision to make available her songs to every Hawaiian family,” said Dr. Kekuni Blaisdell, who together with Agnes Conrad and Barbara Smith, researched, edited and arranged music for the book that celebrates the creativity of Queen Liliʻuokalani.

The project involved hundreds of hours of work by volunteers who "painstakingly picked at each note, each work, each translation" to produce what Hui Hānai describes as “an authoritative source of her music.”

Available at University of Hawaiʻi Press and other bookstores throughout Hawaiʻi.

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