Around The World - Australian Didgeridoo

by Sinisa Cekic

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  • Hi GMCers,

    Next stop of our trip is Australia!

    The didgeridoo (also known as a didjeridu or didge) is a wind instrument developed by Indigenous Australians of northern Australia at least 1,500 years ago and is still in widespread usage today both in Australia and around the world. It is sometimes described as a natural wooden trumpet or "drone pipe". Musicologists classify it as a brass aerophone.

    There are no reliable sources stating the didgeridoo's exact age. Archaeological studies of rock art in Northern Australia suggest that the people of the Kakadu region of the Northern Territory have been using the didgeridoo for at least 1,500 years, based on the dating of paintings on cave walls and shelters from this period.

    A modern didgeridoo is usually cylindrical or conical, and can measure anywhere from 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) long. Most are around 1.2 m (4 ft) long. The length is directly related to the 1/2 sound wavelength of the keynote. Generally, the longer the instrument, the lower the pitch or key of the instrument.

    There is also a health effect :

    "The British Medical Journal published a study in 2005, which found that practicing the didgeridoo helped reduce snoring as well as daytime sleepiness. The study concluded that using the didgeridoo for just 25 minutes a day helped people with sleep apnea. The disorder causes the throat to close and breathing to stop, waking the patient, but the didgeridoo sessions helped by strengthening the airways. About 5% of the population has the syndrome, which can cause people to wake up regularly during the night, the team decided to investigate whether playing the Aboriginal didgeridoo wind instrument helped patients after hearing reports that it had solved some sleep-related problems."Our results are the first to show that training the upper airways significantly improves sleep related outcomes."


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