The didgeridoo is a musical instrument wind used by Aborigines in northern Australia. Its use seems very old, some argue it could go back to the stone age (40 to 60 000 years), but there is no proof of this assertion. It is a wrong timber, distant cousin of the Alphorn.

Didgeridoo, didjeridoo, didjeridu or didjeridou, is originally onomatopoeic word invented by Western settlers from the sound of that instrument. Aborigines call it differently based on their ethnicity. Among the fifty names, the most common are: djubini, ganbag, gamalag, mago, Maluka, yirago, yiraki, YIDAKI, bamboo etc.

The didgeridoo is traditionally made from a hollowed trunk of eucalyptus naturally throughout its length by termites. The length varies from 100 to 180 cm and a diameter of 5 to 30 cm. The mouth is usually covered with beeswax to reduce the mouth to a diameter easily playable close to 30 mm, to make it smoother, better fit the shape of the mouth and to protect the moisture. The traditional didgeridoos may submit a sugarbag mouth covered with a beeswax wild, but more often a mouthpiece directly playable. Traditionally, it can be decorated with paintings of scenes from mythology or aboriginal clan reasons.

There are now didgeridoos dug by hand, from a branch of any tree cut in two along its length to the interior lamps, and then reglued: the sandwich method.

There are also often bamboo and teak, or PVC, clay, glass, paper mache ...

There are also didgeridoos tunable. The idea is to change the length of the drills by a system of sliding.

To play the didgeridoo, the musician made his lips vibrate like a hunting horn or trumpet, but with a lower voltage lip muscles. One of the peculiarities of the didgeridoo lies in the fact that most players use the technique of breath or breathing continuous circular. It allows to maintain a constant air blast to play without stopping, even when the inspiration.

The sound basis, the drone (or hoot), is produced by vibration monotonous lips on the mouth.

To create melodies, there are five kinds of variations from the drone:

* Slight variations in air flow, which reduce or increase the pitch of the drone;

* The amplification of harmonics in the drone, from lip movements and especially the language;

* The change in the volume of air in the cheeks or outbreaks of the diaphragm, which allows rhythmic accents:

* The sounds coming to superimpose drone, which often mimic the cries of animals, aboriginal in the game, the player can also sing in the didgeridoo;

* The quintoiement (survibration or toot), which is produced by a pinch lips, so as to blow a trumpet and produces a fog horn close to the upper octave drone base. By increasing the tension still lips, it is possible to obtain other survibrations more acute, like a hunting horn.

In areas where it is culturally represented, the didgeridoo most often accompanies the song and play claves, played by one or more other musicians. It is an instrument reserved for ceremonies and festivities.

Regional names for the didgeridoo
There are at least 45 different synonyms for the didgeridoo. The following are some of the regional names.

Yolngu of Arnhem Land: yirdaki
Gupapuygu of Arnhem Land: Yiraka
Djinang of Arnhem Land: Yirtakki
Pintupi of Central Australia: paampu
Groote Eylandt: ngarrriralkpwina
Cobourg Peninsula: wuyimba or buyigi
Katherine: artawirr
Kakadu: garnbak
Lardil of Mornington Island: kurmurr or larrwa
Roebourne, WA: Kurmur
Kimberleys WA: ngaribi
Adelaide River: bambu
Alligator River: martba
Alice Springs: Ilpirra

Read also Fujara


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