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Didgeridoo

 

First, a healthy snack idea that has something to do with this Treat: it's an obvious choice - pretzels! They look just like this unique musical instrument, only much, much smaller - and much tastier, too! While you're eating your pretzels, pretend that they're horns, and make imaginary songs!

 

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The didgeridoo is one of the most wonderful and unusual musical instruments known to man. Pronounce it as "did-juh-ree-doo" and spell it also as "didjeridu." It may be the world's oldest wind instrument. It comes from Australia, where the native people - the aborigines - devised it as many as 1,500 years ago.

 

 

Similar in tone to some of the great, long horns of the ancient Middle East, the wooden didgeridoo has a one-of-a-kind sound that is haunting, melodic and almost spiritual. It generally ranges from D to F#.

 

The horn is made from the hollowed-out trunk of a small tree. The hollowing usually has been done by white ants, or termites. The artist will clean out the insides with a stick, and then scrape the sides in a pleasing native design to aid in sound transportation. Often, beautiful and colorful aboriginal painting completes the instrument's design.

 

The "blowing end" is usually rimmed with beeswax.

 

Read more about this fascinating instrument on:

 

http://www.didjshop.com/austrAboriginalMusicInstruments.html

 

There's still more background on it, with pictures and sound clips, on:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Music 01 2008

 

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