Australian aboriginal musical instrument
The didgeridoo is a deceptively simple instrument. Nevertheless, in the hands of an experienced performer, it can create extremely complex music. It is simply a trumpet without a reed, finger holes, or any moving parts. The player creates rhythm and changes in timbre and pitch using breathing, lips, tongue, cheeks, throat, vocal cords, and abdominal muscles.
Aboriginal people of northern Australia invented the instrument and still use it in ceremony and daily life today. Didjeridu is not in fact an Aboriginal term, but an onomatopoeic word created by European settlers describing the sound produced by traditional players. There are many words for the instrument in Aboriginal languages. The best known around the world are yidaki from northeast Arnhem Land and mago from west Arnhem Land. In both regions, it is also common to hear the word bambu used. Bamboo was occasionally in use at the time of European contact, but has now fallen out of favor with Aboriginal players.
Nowadays, people all over the world make didgeridoo from a variety of materials. Traditionally, however, instruments are made from the trunks of eucalyptus trees that have been hollowed out by termites known as "white ants". The craftsman surveys the woods looking for a suitable tree, then taps it from top to bottom. If the sound is good, the tree is cut down, trimmed to length, and stripped of its bark. If the natural hollow of the tree at the top is too large or irregular in shape, the mouthpiece is formed from a material found in bee nests called "sugarbag", which is a black, sticky substance that Australian bees get by mixing their wax with eucalyptus tree resin.
Instruments made for sale or special ceremonies may be elaborately decorated with clan designs related to the artist, but most didgeridoos in everyday use in northern Australia are unpainted or wrapped top to bottom in duct or electrical tape to hold them together through inevitable cracking as the wood dries.
What you need to pay attention to when you buy a didgeridoo
- When buying your first didgeridoo, do not worry about what eucalyptus it is made of
- When buying, you should first listen to the sound the didgeridoo makes
- Each didgeridoo is quite unique, depending on how the tree grew and how the termites hollowed out the inside
- The sound can range from a low, deep drone or a high-pitched drone
- The biggest, lowest sounding didgeridoos are often bad for beginners because of the amount of air it takes to play them. If you do not have the basics such as circular breathing mastered, then a didgeridoo with a middle note will help you improve faster
- You do not need a beeswax mouthpiece if the end is smooth, but most players prefer one
- Ensure your comfort when playing the didgeridoo - beeswax mouthpieces have a pleasant and soft surface
- Most important factors in pricing effort put into the instrument by the maker, the sound quality and artwork
- The finish of the didgeridoo does not affect the sound
Buy didgeridoos in Musician.UA
You can buy didgeridoos in our stores. It is also possible to place an order in the online shop. Delivery is carried out all over Ukraine. Thanks to the wide assortment, everyone will find a suitable product for themselves. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.