Aboriginal Musical Instruments

No one knows how old aboriginal music is. Its traditions date back countless generations. Interestingly, the sounds have not changed much over the years. Aboriginal music of ancient times had a deep ceremonial aspect to it. In modern times, it is enjoyed by people all over the world for its pleasing beats and melodies.

The Didgeridoo

This is one of the oldest and most recognizable types of aboriginal musical instrument. It has also become a symbol of Australian culture. In musical classification terms, it is considered an aerophone. A number of aboriginal artists have attempted to preserve traditional versions of this unique instrument.

The didgeridoo is made of a long tube with no finger holes. The player blows into a mouthpiece to generate its distinctive sound. Traditionally, they are made of eucalyptus wood, although modern versions of the instrument are made of plastic.

Other Instruments

There are several other less iconic aboriginal instruments as well. One of these is the gum leaf. As the name suggests, this is a eucalyptus gum tree leaf, which is used like a reed instrument. Another is the bullroarer, which in the past was used in ceremonial rituals. They are deeply significant to aboriginal culture, and are only played in specific situations.

Clapsticks are a more popular instrument. Similar to drumsticks, these are typically struck together to make a distinctive sound. They are usually oval-shaped, and have paintings of animals on them.

Modern Music

The emergence of new instruments has allowed the aboriginal bands of today to create their own unique sound. Experimentation is very common. Bands often employ a combination of traditional aboriginal instruments and newer ones, and play a fusion of popular modern genres, such as rock or pop. This way, they can achieve a much broader appeal. Some artists, however, continue to play in a purely traditional manner.