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Didjeridoo

Essay by   •  September 14, 2010  •  775 Words (4 Pages)  •  900 Views

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If you have ever watched the television show "Survivor" or a "Foster's" commercial you have probably heard that annoying but rather interesting noise in the background music. The instrument that is capable of making such a strange noise is called a didgeridoo. The didgeeridoo is a strange type of trumpet that is used by the Aboriginal people of northern Australia. It is used just as we use our musical instruments for singing and dancing or ceremony and entertainment. It is thought to be one of the oldest instruments still used around the world today. It's recorded history goes back nearly 1500 years but it is probable that it has been around much longer.

The way it is created is what brings man to believe that it has been around a while. "The didgeridoo is made from irregular eucalyptus tree branches or trunks, such as the stringybark and the woolybutt, about 3.25-5 feet long and has a conical bore that is hollowed by termites" (What is 1). Then it is completely sealed and the mouthpiece, made of beeswax, is molded on. Some of the designers will paint different tribal symbols and colors (usually bright colors) all along the sides of the horn to give it a more native look. The pitch of the didgeridoo depends on the length and shape it is made into. It is supposed to replicate the sounds of earth or nature. "The Aborigines would go out into nature and listen to these sounds and would try to play these sounds with as much accuracy as possible with the didgeridoo" (1).

The didgeridoo is not usually played by itself when being performed in front of an audience. Most of the time "two or more stick beating players will be involved, but there will never be more than one didgeridoo player" (What is 1). Normally it is used as background music to a singer, to add to the imagination of the audience. The actual playing of the didgeridoo is done through the mouthpiece on the smaller end. "Players or, 'pullers' as they are called, produce the fundamental note by loosely vibrating his or her lips against the mouthpiece"

(Moore). The player must develop a technique called circular breathing where he or she inhales through the nose, stores air in their cheeks, and exhales through their mouth without stopping the air flow through the horn.

The word didgeridoo comes from the word bamboo. Most researchers believe that the first ones were made from bamboo sticks although they are now made from eucalyptus trees. "According to Prof. Trevor Jones there are at least 45 different synonyms for the didgeridoo" (What is 1). Most of the Aborigine tribes came up with their own name for it. Some of the

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