The didgeridoo is recognised as one of the most unusual yet familiar musical wind instruments that originated with the Aboriginal tribes of Northern Australia. These tribal cultures have believed the didgeridoo is an ancient (40,000 years old) part of their mystical Dreamtime history. Scientific research, however, puts the instrument’s age at more likely in the 1500-2000 year old range. No matter its dating, the didgeridoo has long been an integral spiritual and sacred aspect of these cultures and it is intimately connected to their historical origins.
Originally the didgeridoo was known and used only in tribal ceremonies, celebrations and healings. Today, thanks to the generous sharing of it by aboriginal peoples, it is an accepted musical instrument that is played throughout the world and has been incorporated into just about every music genre – from symphony to electronic to rap.
Didgeridoo – The Instrument
Traditionally, its conical shape was formed either from the Eucalyptus tree limb that had been naturally hollowed out by termites or it was fashioned from bamboo. In current time, didgeridoos are manufactured worldwide using diverse materials like glass, ceramic, hemp, leather, plastic, cactus stems and even metal.
Each didgeridoo is different in size and purpose and is chosen to provide a specific purposeful tone and frequency. Longer varieties will produce a lower drone sound while shorter ones create a higher drone. Lighter ones are often used in healing due to their ease of mobility and clarity of sound.
Although deceptively simple in its appearance, playing the didgeridoo is a complex process that is achieved through a combined use of the musician’s lips, vocalisations and a trained use of a circular breathing technique. These processes are responsible for controlling the production of the didgeridoo’s multiple tones and vibrations and well as its single drone sound that can be held for long periods of time using the breath technique.
Didgeridoo and Healing
The healing properties of the didgeridoo are in part due to the low frequency vibrations that the recipient can actually feel in his/her body as the instrument is played over them or nearby. Healing can also occur by just being in the room as it is played or by listening to recordings.
There are numerous ways for participants to experience a didgeridoo healing as the player’s approach is a combination of both skill and intuitive connection to what is needed.
In general, the didgeridoo player will fill the room with the vibrational sounds of the instrument and then visit each of the participants as they lay comfortably supported by mats on the floor. The healing sounds might be delivered at close range or further away and they might be circled around and over the body in specific patterns at a slow or faster pace using altered tone or musical keys.
A recipient can choose to hold the sound end of the didgeridoo and direct it over their own bodies, thus giving them a sense of more control over the experience.
I call it an accelerator into deep, clear, focused states of consciousness. As a spiritual seeker, it gave me more focus and passion and drive. ~ Phil Jones
The vibrational quality of didgeridoo music can:
The didgeridoo is designed to instantly focus on self-improvement. It immediately clears the mind of ‘monkey chatter’ so that the thought planted in calm will take root. The Aborigines use it for enlightenment and elevating consciousness. ~ Phil Jones