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Music House

Australian Aborigines Music & Culture

Australian Aborgine Didjeridu

Australian Aborigine song with didjerdu "Bushfire" by Alan Maralung 

Miller, Terry E. and Shahriari, Andres. World Music: A Global Journey. New York: Routledge, 2012

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL MUSICAL CONSIDERATIONS

RECORDINGS:    https://youtu.be/XZ-hbpWlXNQ      

                                https://youtu.be/V1pDPuetPdg?list=RDV1pDPuetPdg          

                                https://youtu.be/1ID86UIivvk

 

INSTRUMENTS

INSTRUMENTS CLASSICIFICATION

what vibrates for sound

TIMBRE

quality of sound

PITCH

tone measured in Hertz

RHYTHM

durations of sounds

PHONIC STRUCTURE

organizational relationship of sounds

DYNAMICS

volume measured in decibels

didjeridu

aerophone -  direct air

guttural, animal imitations

drone with overtones, bursts increase by  semitone

constant, bursts

Voice and didjeridu often frame performance by beat of clapsticks.

Text and vocables are two different sections as are the voice and didjeridu.

 

altering airflow increases volume

 

chordophone -  strings

 

 

 

 

clap sticks

idiophone - itself   

wooden

 

steady pulse

steady

hand clapping, percussion sticks and tube, rasp, rattle1`

 

skin drum 1

membranophone -  membrane

 

 

 

 

 

electrophone - electricity

 

 

 

 

 

also, voice

nasal tone

 

text (high) & vocables (lower),

descending contour

phrases framed by clapsticks

vocables slightly lower volume

AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL CULTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

Value Systems/Hierarchies

Maintain

All children trained through life ancient music/rituals/beliefs

Identity

Totemism

system of belief in which humans are said to have kinship/mystical relationship with a spirit-being, such as an animal or plant

Use/function

Rituals/Spirits

ritual or entertainment/taps into ancient and creative power left behind by ancestral spirits

Spirituality

Animism

the attribution of a soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena “Dreamtime”

Ethics

Taboo for Women

taboo for women to play didjeridu since would result in an unwanted increase in birth rate

Environment

Plains, Desert

Outback/Bush plains and desert, unique animals,

New Theories

Tribal

History Songs of the Past

Technologies/Media

none

no enhancements other than through performance

Arts

Animism

song, dance, rituals, body paint

Transmission/Pedagogy

Life Learning

music integral part of life1

Notation System

Vocal

imitation1

Composer/Player

Separation

composer of past/player of today

Exchange/Adaptation

none

“…today’s aborigines hunkered down in their new homes — for tens of thousands of years.”2

 

Cultural Intersection

 

SE Asia

“Fifty thousand years ago, sea levels were so low that Australia and New Guinea formed a single continent. Humans moved from Southeast Asia onto this landmass, some settling in what is now New Guinea, others traveling farther south into Australia.”2

REFERENCES: 1http://hmcs.scu.edu.au/musicarchive/AusGeneral.html

                               2 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/science/aboriginal-australians-dna-origins-australia.html?_r=0

                                           Miller, Terry E. and Shahriari, Andres. World Music: A Global Journey. New York: Routledge, 2012

Australian Aborigines Music & Culture