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The “Modern” Didgeridoo

The Didgeridoo, with its ancient rumble that illustrates an entire culture, has been extolled for its sound quality, difficulty level of playing, healing properties and overall appearance. Constructed from long, slender, hollow logs of eucalyptus, bamboo or other wood, this instrument was once used in the ceremonies and festivals of the aboriginal populations on Australia. Its low, droning sound was believed to evoke nature’s mysteries, and is included in many wellness events to encourage healing and an attachment to the music of the universe. Today, the didgeridoo is found around the world, serving the public with its unique sound in almost all genres of music.

Didgeridoo music can be summed up in a sound, literally. The simple construction of the instrument leaves little room for symphonic music, but it instead produces a low hum that has been known to induce trance-like states when used as a wellness tool. Because of this sound, didgeridoos can be found as a staple element of different types of dance music, including trance, techno, house and pop.

Jazz and several fusion genres of music are also using the drone of the didge in recordings and on stage. “Two by One,” a song recorded by Tyler Sussman on saxophone, Chaim Tolwin on drums and AJ Block on didgeridoos is an example of how artists today are incorporating the healing sound of the didgeridoo into modern music. The Didge Project song, "Didge Hop," shows how the didgeridoo can bring a unique sound to pop, hip-hop and funk.

As music continues to evolve and include instruments, rhythms and techniques from cultures across the world, the possibilities of new sound and purpose are endless. In today’s music, the didgeridoo and other world percussion instruments are finding a place beyond meditation and new age music, and are becoming a vital part of all popular genres of music. This indigenous instrument movement brings new sound, thought and life into the world of drum machines, auto-tuned vocals and mass-produced music, reattaching the listener to the inner sanctity of song, melody and rhythm.

29th Oct 2014

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