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The Central Coast Philharmonia

Diggeridoo

The Diggeridoo is a long, slightly conical wooden instrument, used traditionally by the Aboriginal people of Northern Australia and more than forty various names are used to signify the instrument. The diggerido is an ancient instrument, and considerable evidence exists to say that it is the first musical instrument ever created by mankind. Origins of the diggeridoo have been scientifically traced to as much as 40,000 years ago. A diggeridoo note essentially consists of a single pitch, a drone, but over this drone many various harmonics and effects are produced. Vocal sounds, screeches, pitch flux, vibrato, rhythm, and circular breathing are all part of standard diggeridoo technique. Regardless of its position as the world's oldest instrument, the diggeridoo has seen much new music being written for it; popular music, new age styles and jazz have made much recent use of it, and it appears in many motion picture scorings. The newest addition to this is to brings the aboriginal instrument into the classical world. 40,000 years after its inception, the instrument still holds its own in the world of music for its wildly unique and subtly complex sound. Genesis will feature diggeridoo in a number of pieces throughout the concert.

Some technical info:
There is no standard diggeridoo notation. It is possible to define pitches and produce certain harmonics, but all who wish to write for diggeridoo are encouraged to work specifics out with a player, as different instruments have different frequency spectrums. Also respect for its spiritual nature and complex sonic field is always appreciated by performers. For more info on diggeridoos, visit http://www.well.com/user/nhunter/didj/.


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