Australia music has always been having
trouble achieving an identity of its own. As a nation made
up of six states that were formerly British colonies, it is
difficult for the Australians to break away from the
association, if not the stigma, from the colonizers.
People outside Australia
always have this predisposition that Australian
creations, may it be songs, movies, or even fashion,
are but just concurrence with the trends from the
United Kingdom and the United States.
Some even go
far as to say that it’s just an imitation from the
U.S. and the U.K.
This may be true on some levels,
but in fairness to Australian musicians, Australia
music also has its share of originals that it can
claim as only its own.
However, only a handful of
people outside its borders are aware of the original
Australian music—both the Aboriginal and the
contemporary music that new Australian musicians
were able to successfully break away from the U.K.
Australian Aborigines and the Islanders of Torres
Strait together make up what is distinctly
Indigenous Australian Music.
This type of music is set apart and made distinct
with the use of the Didgeridoo—one of the oldest
musical instrument in the world.
The Didgeridoo is a tubular wind type of musical
instrument, made of eucalyptus wood and best played
with what they call the circular breathing
It is said to have been in use, most especially in
the Kakadu Region of Australia, as
early as 15,000 years ago. It is still being used
today and considered to be Australia’s national
Ancient forms of Australian music
include the following: the death wail—consists of
songs for mourning over the dead; the bunggul—songs
about adventures of epic proportions; the Kun-borrk—
a didgeridoo music with vocals and
percussions; and the Wangga—song characterized with a
high-pitched introduction and rhythmic percussion, which is
continued in a low tone.
Australian musicians today were also
able to create modern indigenous music, fusing aboriginal
instruments and beats with modern lyrics.
And they were able
to cover all music genres such as country, rock, reggae and
even hip hop.
However, it is not without difficulty that
these modern indigenous musicians were able to break through
The first and one of the few who made it to
the mainstream was Jimmy Little, with his carrier single
“The Royal Telephone”.
The song graced the music charts and
enjoyed considerable radio air time during the mid 1960’s.
In 2005, the University of Sydney awarded Jimmy Little a
music honorary doctorate in recognition of his valuable
contribution to Australian music.
Some Australian musicians also made it
to the international arena and have earned quite some
popularity even in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The most familiar includes, INXS, Kylie Minogue, AC/DC,
Silverchair and Savage Garden.