Illustrations by Francis Collie,  http://fran6co.sur-la-toile.com

The earliest known didgeridoos were made from bamboo.

Most didgeridoos made in Australia are cut from living trees.

Popular culture celebrities linked to the didgeridoo include Madonna, The Beatles, Nicole Kidman, and Dizzee Rascal.

In 2005 the British Medical Journal published as study on the effects of didgeridoo playing on snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

A eucalyptus tree cut down to make a didgeridoo will not regrow or sprout new stems, unless it is a malled-type eucalyptus species endemic to south-east and south-west Australia.

In the Northern Territory and Queensland, making a didgeridoo usually involves killing a tree.

A good didgeridoo should not necessarily have a beeswax mouthpiece. Men in the age bracket of 45-54 years old from North America, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the most likely cohort of individuals likely to have an interest in the didgeridoo, outside of Australia.

Didgeridoo beatboxing is a modern and popular form of musical expression using the didgeridoo.

The didgeridoo is still used for ceremonial and ritual purposes in parts of Aboriginal Australia.

In 2012 an astronaut, Don Pettit, conducted a personal experiment on board the International Space Station. He played the didgeridoo in zero gravity to create water droplet sphere oscillations.

The didgeridoo is 40,000 years old.

For the Aboriginal custodians of the instrument in northern Australia the didgeridoo is timeless whereas archaeological evidence suggests it is of more recent vintage. For example, in rock art sequences that span 50,000 years the didgeridoo does not appear before 1500 years ago. Regardless, how ancient or recent a musical instrument might be should not bias our value of it nor diminish it’s meaning and function in our individual as well as collective lives.

Real didgeridoos do not feature dot art decoration.

The problem here is what “real” is. There are a wide variety of methods used to make a didgeridoo today as well as styles of decoration. In Australia Aboriginal artists do use dots and the dotting technique on didgeridoos in addition to a range of other motifs and techniques.

It takes years of practice to master circular breathing.

Circular breathing can be learnt in one sitting, in a matter of minutes. It takes no special ability or skill to circular breathe although naturally the more one practises the better one gets. If you have just worked out how circular breathing works, with daily practise you will become very good at it very quickly.

In Australia it is easy to make a didgeridoo and any eucalyptus tree growing nearby will do.

The sort of eucalyptus trees that didgeridoos are made from do not grow uniformly throughout Australia. Only certain regions, patches and ecologies permit the symbiotic relationship between specific termite and eucalyptus species. As in real estate, it is all about location, location, location. Didgeridoo makers and players in Australia have their own favourite places where their best timber  originates whether from Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Western Australia or elsewhere. A good didgeridoo craftsman has the uncanny ability to spot a potential tree for harvest or to get the best out of a log by thoughtful shaping and tuning.

A didgeridoo with a Made in Australia or Aboriginal-made label must be a good ethical choice when deciding on what didgeridoo to purchase. There are no compulsory or non-compulsory industry standards for labelling on didgeridoos, either in Australia or overseas. Made in Australia has diverse meanings including importing a product from outside of Australia and enhancing it in Australia. In the case of tourist-oriented didgeridoos in souvenir stalls, a Made in Australia label may be legally used if the didgeridoo was made in Indonesia and painted in Australia.

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