Indigenous Music and Instruments

DidgereedooThe traditional aboriginal tribes made and used many types of percussion instruments and their songs and dance were used  to tell dreamtime stories. It is estimated that there are approximately 30 types of sound instruments hat were produced by the traditional people of Australia.

Thee most famous of instruments used by the aboriginal people is the didgeridoo. A Didgeridoo is a long hollow, rounded branch that produces amazing sounds out of one end when a musician blows through the other end.

The didgeridoo was originally used by aborigines from the north of Australia an estimated 1,500 years ago and are still used today. Some modern versions are now made from plastic and pvc but most are made from hardwoods. Eucalyptus trees were in plentiful supply so were commonly used for producing didgeridoos.

Aborigines would venture out and find a suitable hardwood tree that was hollowed out by termites and choose the best branch to fashion heir instrument from. To identify a hollow branch they would knock on it with their knuckles and it would produce a sharp hollow sound similar to knocking on a thin internal door.

Didgeridoo beeswax mouth pieceOnce cut and shaped they would often paint the instrument using crushed rock pigment mixed with blood or saliva, and then coat bees wax around the mouth piece to form a good seal and more comfortable playing experience..

Other instruments used by the Indigenous peoples of Australia include bark, branches, sticks or boomerangs that were beaten on the ground, and drums made from short hollow logs with the holes covered in stretched  animal or reptile skins.