Bob Bolton

The Bush Music Club began meeting in Castlereagh St in central Sydney in 1954. It had a close connections with the Australian Folklore Society. Members researched traditional music and performed at events, dances and on television. Bob Bolton plays many instruments and has been involved with the Club since his youth. In the excerpt below he talks about bones as musical instruments.

The bones [musical instruments made from animal bones] are traditionally made from a couple of big, heavy ribs but you can’t get big heavy ribs these days because we don’t eat big old tough bullocks, we eat yearling beef and the bones are fairly thin and webby and they don’t make very good bones. I’ve seen some nineteenth century ones: they were massive things.  And I was talking to a butcher who lived near me, a retired butcher, and he said during the ‘30s they were in Harris Street [Ultimo] but they’d have all the Tivoli [Theatre] people coming down there and looking through all the bones, looking for the big ivory ones because they needed something that clacked out unamplified [and] could be heard right through the Tiv’.

Margaret Leask