Perfect Beat, Vol 2, No 1 (1994)

THE ESSENTIALISTIC, THE EXOTIC, THE EQUIVOCAL AND THE ABSURD The Cultural Production and Use of the Didjeridu in World Music

Issued Date: 7 Oct 2015


This article analyses the cultural production and use of the didjeridu in contemporary popular music, especially 'world music'2• The analysis is informed by two interwoven perspectives. Firstly, Feld's identification of what he terms
"schizophonia to schismogenesis", that is, "how sounds are split from their sources, and how that splitting is dynamically connected to escalating cycles of distorted mutuality between local and global practices" ( 1992: 176); and secondly,
Hanson's identification of what he terms "cultural invention", that is, how "inventions are common components in the ongoing development of authentic culture [and how] producers ... are often outsiders ... as well as insiders" {899). As I have argued elsewhere with regard to Australian music {Neuenfeldt, 1993), these processes are profoundly influenced by the technologisation and cultural transposition of the didjeridu by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal musicians, sound engineers and music producers.

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DOI: 10.1558/prbt.v2i1.28804


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