The music of Australia – Guides, Interviews and Features | Songlines

Australia Profile

  • Related Artists: Gurrumul, Archie Roach
  • Related Countries: Australia

With a history that stretches back 50,000 years, the indigenous people of Australia boast one of the world’s oldest cultures.

Preserving their ancient heritage through a complex oral tradition of mythological ‘dreamtime’ stories, music has played a central part in maintaining identity, ancestral lineage and an enduring connection to the land through the ‘songlines’ in which an ancestral song is both map and direction-finder.

Traditional Aboriginal music is strongly rhythmic, based around the resonant pulse of the didgeridoo and clap sticks. Contemporary Aboriginal styles encompass troubadours such as Kev Carmody, Archie Roach and the late blind singer songwriter Gurrumul as well as multi-ethnic bands such as Yothu Yindi.


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