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Add the Australian Didgeridoo to Your Ensemble

A didgeridoo is a long, wooden tube instrument created by Australian Aboriginals in the northern territory 3,000-5,000 years ago. When a player blows into the tube, it resonates a deep, unique sound, which is accompanied by volume and timbre rhythmic accents. You can find a variety of these musical instruments for various skill levels on eBay.

What type of instrument is a didgeridoo?

Traditionally, these instruments are classified as a wind instrument; although it is sometimes referred to as a "drone pipe" or a wooden trumpet. When used as a trumpet, it can be considered a brass instrument. Materials used to create didgeridoos also influence whether its classified as a brass or woodwind. In musicology, it is referred to as a brass aerophone. Non-traditionally, this long, wooden tube is called a conical or cylindrical instrument. The most common wood type used for this instrument is a eucalyptus tree trunk or hollowed limb. Through history, most of these instruments are handcrafted, but, there are commercial instruments in this category available too.

Do all didgeridoos make the same sound?

No, not all instruments in this category create the same musical notes. The cylindrical instrument can vary greatly in length and thickness. Usually, the longer the instrument is, the lower pitch or key it will create. There are exceptions to this rule. Instruments with a flare at the end are able to create higher pitches, even if they are not as long as others.

Other factors that may impact the sound quality include materials. Materials used to create this tube, include fiberglass, ceramic, leather, glass, hemp fibers, and solid timbers. You can find didgeridoos on eBay made of many different materials.

What traditional instruments are didgeridoos related to?

This ancient instrument was first used by northern Australians and is still commonly played in that country; but has branched out all over the globe due to its appearance in more genres of music and ceremonies. While the instrument was usually accompanied by chants, native dancers, and tapping sticks.Instruments related to this instrument include the:

  • Bugle
  • Natural trumpet
  • Roman tuba
  • Bucina
  • Bronze age Irish horn
Playing a didgeridoo

The musical instrument is played by vibrating lips and blowing steadily to create a drone sound. The sound is made with a special breathing technique known as circular breathing. With this technique, the player needs to breathe through the nose while pushing air out through the mouth. More experienced players can create a variety of different sounds.

This is done by the player learning to use their cheeks and tongue. When done correctly, a player can replenish their air and sustain a note for as long as needed. Some players are able to hold a note for as long as forty minutes. Approaches to playing this instrument have changed through history and now include a form of beatboxing, which is best known in the rap genre, into the instrument to create long, sustained drone sounds. With this change in strategy, the instrument has been heard in different genres than it was traditionally.




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