A didjeridu is a hollow pipe typically 4-6 feet long and around 2 inches in diameter, though a wide range of sizes exist. Traditional didjeridus are most notably made from eucalyptus limbs partially hollowed out by termites. There is also documentation of traditional didjeridus made from palm, and it is believed that the first ones were made from bamboo. Usually a mouth-piece of wax or hardened gum is on one end and the player blows into the instrument in a trumpet like fashion. The didjeridu is part of the 423.121.11 group in the aerophone class from the Hornbostel-Sachs system of musical classification. When applying a western orchestral based classification, the didjeridu is classified as a wind instrument or more specifically a brass instrument. The instrument originated from the indigenous people of Australia, and they call it the yidaki. It is arguably the oldest known musical wind instrument, dating back at least 40,000 years.
Didjeridu has a variety of names/spellings, including:
Didjeridus are often associated with new-age hippie type people that like to use them for things like spiritual sound healings.
Obtaining a didjeridu
Buying a didjeridu
- Watermelon Music - They typically carry a couple of didjs, usually found near the cash register.
- Whole Earth Festival - Every year there's a booth at WEF that just sells didjeridus.
Making your own
The didjeridu is a very simple instrument. In essence it is just a hollow tube, and thus many simple, yet functional, didjeridus can be made with minimal supplies and effort. Some say the secret to a good instrument is having the tube taper towards the mouthpiece, that is, not using a pipe which has parallel internal walls.
- PVC pipe from a hardware store such as ACE
- Fluorescent light tube guards
Many didjeridu players have learned the method known as circular breathing in order to keep the didjeridu buzzing without stopping for a breath. The "trick" is to maintain air pressure, without blowing, by using your mouth like the airbag of a bagpipe while you inhale through your nose.
JabberWokky has appeared on national television playing the didjeridoo as part of pre-Phantom Menace coverage. Having stood in line for a week, NBC filmed him and a few others in the SubGenius band "Ralphus and the Didjeri Don'ts" performing "Luke be a Jedi Tonight".
2005-02-10 21:21:54 The Experimental College has digeridoo classes taught by Min Yang. I had a great time taking it. —BrianneCrabtree