The ukulele sometimes abbreviated to uke, is a member of the Lute Family of instruments; it generally employs four Nylon strings.
The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese Instrument, a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese Immigrants. It has gained great popularity in the USA during the early 20th century, and from there spread internationally.
The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.