Elisabeth Pfeiffer is a solo ukulele player with a strong background in classical guitar. She studied at Lawrence University, Appleton, WI, USA and HfM Würzburg, Germany, majoring in classical guitar. 2013 she took up a ukulele and never looked back. Since, she has written several method and repertoire books on strumming and picking techniques, as well as fretting concepts. On stage she mostly performs solo arrangements, but throws in the occasional song, always looking to add something personal to a piece or a song. Her repertoire ranges from Renaissance music to Jazz and Rock covers, as well as contemporary classical and her original music. With her duo ‘Charlotte & Elisabeth’ she performs and arranges old and new chansons and novelty songs.
Applicative Manner and Extent of Historical Ukulele Technique in Contemporary Ukulele Music
My research project explores how ukulele technique is applied and adapted, influencing contemporary ukulele music. Key research questions are:
What techniques are traditionally applied on the ukulele?
How do they collectively define ukulele technique?
How and to which extent is historical ukulele technique applied in contemporary ukulele music?
I’m focusing my research on documenting ukulele technique applied by various players across various ukulele traditions to establish a compendium of ukulele technique as it exists today, contextualizing my findings with contemporary ukulele compositions to see how and to what extent established ukulele technique is applied in contemporary ukulele music.
Subsequent research will revolve around the question to what extent these techniques are used in contemporary ukulele music. While analyzing existing contemporary compositions is an important part of this research process, I, additionally intend to work closely with composers to create new works, collaboratively creating pieces that apply and possibly redefine the use of traditional and contemporary ukulele technique, thereby expanding the artistic, technical and musical boundaries of the instrument.