Bulloar: About the characteristics and history of ethnic musical instruments


The bullroarer is an aerophone that emits sound by tying a string to the end of a thin plate-shaped piece of wood and turning it in the air by holding one end of the string. It’s an Australian instrument, but few people know it very well. It is an ancient ceremonial instrument and is said to have been used for long-distance communication. It is said to have been used since the indigenous peoples of Australia and is one of the representative traditional Aboriginal musical instruments. An instrument found in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia.


This instrument was created in Australia. Humans move their bodies and make sounds like voices. Currently, it is used as sound effects such as animal sounds and words. A man makes a large movement of his body to make the sound, but even a woman can reproduce it. Use the wind to make different sounds when you have time. It makes various small sounds.

Bullroarer history

Bullroarers are more like sound effects than musical instruments. It is a device historically used by ancient people for long-distance communication. Therefore, it is found not only in Australia but also in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. What appears to be this instrument was found in Europe 10000-20000 BC. It has been used by traditional cultures and ceremonies in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Therefore, although it has a background that has been used all over the world, it is generally known as a traditional Australian instrument. Bullroarer was used in ceremonies and other occasions to ward off evil spirits at burial. Although it is a very niche musical instrument, it began to be used as a sound effect in movies and dramas in the 1900s, and it has come to be used in the stage of visual music. As a result, it is already being used by some businesses.

Bullroarer features

Bullroarer is an aerophone that emits sound by tying a string to the end of a thin plate-shaped piece of wood and turning it in the air with one end of the string. There is no scale, it’s like a sound effect. Most of the shapes are spear tip and oval, and it is a mechanism that makes a growl sound while turning. Larger ones can produce louder sounds. The pitch and volume will vary depending on the length of the string. This instrument does not require any special skill from the player, and it is easy to use even for beginners because it makes sounds by turning it. Due to the characteristics of this instrument, it is often used as a sound effect rather than as an instrument.

Bullroarer song

The bullroarer is more of a tool than an instrument. Therefore, it is an instrument that has an opportunity to appear as a sound effect in a video work rather than music. In modern society, it may appear in works such as dramas and movies.


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