Tuning: Keola’s C or C Wahine Tuning (CGDGBE)
Level: Advanced

Introduction

This is my arrangement of a sweetly melodic Charles Hopkins song written at the end of the 19th Century. I learned this song from my ʻohana (family).

The mamo is the safflower or false saffron from Asia. The yellow feather-like flowers were highly prized and loved by Hawaiʻi’s people. This piece is in triple meter with its distinctive waltz feel and contains a modulation (change of key) element within the form.

The highly esteemed Mamo bird, after which the false saffron (mamo) is named in Hawaiian.

Triple meter is rare in Hawaiian Music, so if you are looking for a refreshing rhythmical change of pace (plus a modulation!) check out this wonderful piece. The tabs, lyrics, detailed notes, and the audio file are in the Resources section, below.

Aloha nui,
Keola Beamer

Lesson Resources

Tuning: Keola’s C or C Wahine Tuning (CGDGBE) (jump to lesson)

Tablature: PDF of Sweet Lei Mamo tabs

Lyrics: PDF of Sweet Lei Mamo lyrics

Notes: PDF of Study Notes for Sweet Lei Mamo

Audio File: M4A Audio of Sweet Lei Mamo

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