The Aboriginal cultures of people groups around the world are both fascinating and intriguing. The aboriginal culture of Australia is no exception to this rule. This is particularly true of the music of Aboriginal Australians. The purpose of this discussion is to explore the music of the Aboriginal people of Australia.
History of Aboriginal Music
According to a book entitled Aratjara: Aboriginal Culture and Literature in Australia, the 1950’s saw serious in depth research into the music of Aboriginal Australians. The author explains that there differences between the Aboriginal music of the western desert and the aboriginal music that is dominant in central and northern Australia. These differences can be found in melody, musical style, instruments and rhythm (Riemenschneider & Davis). As such, many who have researched Aboriginal music and culture believe that it should be divided into two groups along the Tropic of Capricorn (Riemenschneider & Davis). As such distinctions can be made when comparing the Aboriginal music of the desert to music in Northern or Central Australia.
The author also explains that regardless of the distinctions that can be made between aboriginal music in different parts of the country, there are many similarities. For instance,
Australian Aboriginal music is primarily and essentially vocal. Most of the songs are believed to have been propagated by spirits, and there are only a few whose words do not have some sacred connotation. They narrate the history and the laws of the tribe. Many Aboriginal Myths are told in Song, not as prose narratives. Form the point-of-view of ownership north Australian songs have been as cult-, clan-, and individually-owned (Riemenschneider & Davis).
The authors further explain that clan songs are usually song openly for the purpose of entertainment alone. However cult songs are inclusive of songs for rain making, love magic and love stopping. The cult songs are meant for the purposes of either healing r harming. The authors assert that these songs are extremely powerful and only those individuals that have been initiated are allowed to sing them. In addition, individually owned songs were songs that were song by certain individuals and often were believed to possess more power when song by a particular individual.
According to an internet article entitled “Australia Aboriginal Music,” the music of aboriginal people is very much tied to their ancestors. To understand the music one must have some understanding of aboriginal beliefs. For instance regardless of the region in which they reside Aboriginal people of Australia hold to the belief that during “The Dreaming” or when time began, the earth was flat and no landmarks could be seen (“Australia Aboriginal Music”). However, as time went on animals came from the earth and they could will themselves to change into humans whenever they pleased (“Australia Aboriginal Music”).
These animals are viewed as the original ancestors and it is believed that they are responsible for forging all of the landscape in the places in which they lived (“Australia Aboriginal Music”). In addition these ancestors were responsible for populating the area in which they lived. With this being understood these ancestors are also believed to be responsible for establishing the rule by which people should live (“Australia Aboriginal Music”).
The article explains further that aboriginal songs are most often sung in a series which contains several verses. Each verse is designed to tell the story of a certain event or location related to an ancestor (“Australia Aboriginal Music”). Additionally some songs are sung for ceremonial purposes that may be inclusive of portrayals of important event that have occurred. The article further explains that the song associated with any one totemic “line” will have the one melodic form throughout. This means, in the case of very long “lines” of songs, where the ancestor is reputed to have crossed thousands of miles of territory, that the characteristic melodic form will be found in areas with different languages and musical techniques. Because of the latter differences, an outside observer may well fail to recognise extreme sections of the one song-line as conforming to the same musical pattern, but that they do conform has been repeatedly stressed by performers and shown by a number of detailed analyses (“Australia Aboriginal Music”).”
This particular form of music or musical technique permits flexibility at times when the expression or interpretation of music differs as it pertains to the various aboriginal tribes. The article asserts that the flexibility allows the information that the music is attempting to communicate to be retained while making allowances for the changes that occur musically as it pertains to rhythm or other factors as the song is played by different tribes (“Australia Aboriginal Music”).
The article further asserts that even if someone from another tribe is visiting and cannot understand the language of the tribe, the visitor will still be able to recognize the song as a result of the structure; they will also have the ability to know the totemic line of the song. Having the ability to recognize songs regardless of the tribal group one belongs to is important and significant. The article asserts that the historical songs in particular are important because they link the past to the present.
Ceremonies also referred to as corroborees are of particular importance to Aboriginal people. The ceremonies include music and dramas that tell the story of the aboriginal people and of specific tribes. According to the Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre there are different types of ceremonies that take place (“Ceremonies/Corroborees”). For instance, there are non-secret rituals that take place at night. This type of ritual includes men women and children (“Ceremonies/Corroborees”). During this ceremony the men will surround a fire and chant singing the ancient songs (“Ceremonies/Corroborees”). Such a ceremony will also include drama in which people paint their bodies and act out various myths or events that have occurred in the history of the aboriginal people (“Ceremonies/Corroborees”).
Within the context of Australlian Aboriginal music the Songman is also a very important figure. The Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre explains that the songman was a person who was highly respected. This individual was responsible for writing and performing sons that provided a description of the daily lives of the aboriginal people. The Centre reports that this individual usually had many songs and they often incorporated the ancient songs of ancestors to create new songs. The Center further explains that Like the skilled didgeridoo player, the songman was often asked to perform for other groups, and was rewarded for his services. He could be noted for his voice of varying pitch, leading others in a chorus. There were specialist leaders in dancing as well. This was a central part of ceremonies and often involved miming, especially of the actions of animals. The length of these songs could last several days, weeks and even months (“The Songman”).”
It is evident that aboriginal music has deep meaning and tells a story of a people through the ages. It is also apparent that aboriginal music is culturally significant. The music can at times be sacred and at other times entertaining. In either case, the music of Aboriginal Australians is extremely interesting and includes a broad range of situations and emotions. It is also apparent that the Songman plays a very important role in providing songs that tell the story of everyday life while connecting to the past. Music seems to be a significant source of communication and a way to connect the past to the present.
As it pertains to the instruments used by Aboriginal people in Australia they are mostly utilized as accompaniment for songs. One of the most popular instruments used in Aboriginal music is the clapping stick. This is a percussive instrument that is sometimes made of Boomerangs and can also be made of two wood sticks (Riemenschneider & Davis). In some parts of Australia a hand drum made from animal Skin is used to play music. This particular drum has Papua New Guinea as its origin.
Another percussion instrument used in Aboriginal music is the uber (Riemenschneider & Davis). The uber is a hollow log that is hit with a short wooden stick. This particular instrument is only allowed to be played on sacred grounds and has some connection to fertility cults. Additionally, the uber is also symbolic and it is usually decorated with feathers or other ornaments (Riemenschneider & Davis). Hand and thigh clapping is also common in Aboriginal Music.
The most well-known type of Aboriginal instrument is the Didjeridu also spelled Didgeridoo. Seen below, this instrument is a type of trumpet made from a hollowed out tree trunk or even a branch. The sound of the instrument is produced by way of circular breathing. Circular breathing involves rhythmic pulsation that is maintained by pronouncing unvoiced syllables into the instrument. The sound of the instrument can be altered by changing the position of the mouth or the lips.
Other instruments include reed or bone whistles and folded leaf whistles (Aboriginal Musical Instruments). In addition, Llpirra or trumpet this instrument is used in Central Australia. Women also engage in Lap slapping (Aboriginal Musical Instruments). Additionally rasp of friction is used as an instrument in Aboriginal Music in addition to rattles made from seeds (Aboriginal Musical Instruments).
The research demonstrates that the instruments used by Aboriginal Australians are mainly percussive in their nature. In addition the Didgeridoo is used as a type of horn or trumpet. These instruments aid in the telling of the history of the Aboriginal people. In addition, instruments such as the uber, are used for special purposes.
This research paper has provided a broad view of Aboriginal music and its purpose amongst the Aboriginal people of Australia. The purpose of this discussion was to research the music of the Aboriginal people of Australia. The research found that aboriginal music has significant meaning and tells a story of a people throughout history. The investigation demonstrated that aboriginal music is extremely important to Aboriginal Australians regardless of which tribe they belong to. At times the music is sacred and at other times entertaining. Regardless of the form the music is presented, it is a fascinating art form and is inclusive of many events and emotions.
The research also found that corroborees are essential and include both music and dramatic performances.
It is also apparent that in Aboriginal society, the Songman is vital in telling the story of everyday life while connecting to the past. Music seems to be a significant source of communication and a way to connect the past to the present.
The research also found that the instruments used by Aboriginal Australians are mostly percussion instruments. These percussive instruments include drums, sticks and the clapping of various parts of the body.
In addition the Didgeridoo is used as a type of horn or trumpet. There are also various types of whistles that are used. The types of instruments that are used amongst Aboriginal Australians differ depending on the region of Australia and the tribe. All of the instruments that are utilized assist the aboriginal people in the telling their history to the next generation. Overall it is apparent that music serves as an anchor for the aboriginal people by connecting them to their past while moving forward in the present.
Aborignal Musical Instruments. Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre.
30 April, 2008 http://aboriginalart.com.au/didgeridoo/instruments.html
Australia Aboriginal Music. 30 April, 2008 http://www.janesoceania.com/australian_aboriginal_music/index1.htm
Ceremonies/Corroborees.” Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre. 30 April, 2008 http://aboriginalart.com.au/didgeridoo/ceremony.html
Riemenschneider Dieter, Geoffrey V. Davis. Aratjara: Aboriginal Culture and Literature in Australia. 1997.
Rodopi. Book Online 30 April, 2008 http://books.google.com/books?id=R5v_356ONRsC&pg=PA225&dq=Aboriginal+music&sig=4c8T95AyqMM8WsLFQHX5X0HYxXY#PPA227,M1
The Songman.” Aboriginal Australia Art and Culture Centre 30 April, 2008 http://aboriginalart.com.au/didgeridoo/songman.html
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more