Barrtjap's Wangga
Barrtjap's Wangga
Notes by Allan Marett, Linda Barwick and Lysbeth Ford, and recordings by Moyle, Marett et al.
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743325254

From the 1950s to the 1980s, Barrtjap (Tommy Burrenjuck, c. 1925–1992) was a ritual leader and one of the most prominent singers/composers in Belyuen (Delissaville), one of the heartlands of the wangga tradition. The community’s proximity to Darwin in the Northern Territory meant that Barrtjap and his songs were heard and recorded by many visitors and tourists. Characterised by great musical inventiveness and precision of form, Barrtjap’s songs mixed his ancestral language, Batjamalh, with the utterances of the song-giving ghosts who visited him in a dream. The CD includes recordings of Barrtjap’?s repertory made by Alice Moyle, Allan Marett and other visitors to Belyuen. Barrtjap’s wife, the late Esther Burrenjuck, collaborated closely in the documentation work on Barrtjap’s repertoire, and his sons Kenny Burrenjuck (d. 2010) and Timothy Burrenjuck have carried on his songs and his legacy into the present day.

Contributors Archival recordings by Alice Moyle and Allan Marett, with supplementary recordings by A.P. Elkin, Ken Maddock and Linda Barwick; curated and annotated by Allan Marett and Linda Barwick, with transcriptions and translations by Lysbeth Ford.

This product is a musical companion to For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories (Sydney University Press, 2013). You can also purchase the complete set of accompanying CDs.

Music from Barrtjap’s repertory may also be streamed online at

Companion book

For the Sake of a Song: Wangga Songmen and their Repertories
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781920899752

Wangga, originating in the Daly region of Australia’s Top End, is one of the most prominent Indigenous genres of public dance-songs. This book focuses on the songmen who created and performed the songs for their own communities and for the general public over the past 50 years.

Framing chapters include discussion of the genre’s social history, musical conventions and the five highly endangered languages in which the songs are composed.

Indigenous Music of Australia CDs

CD 1 — Wurrurrumi Kun-Borrk
CD 2 — Barrtjap’s Wangga
CD 3 — Muluk’s Wangga
CD 4 — Mandji’s Wangga
CD 5 — Lambudju’s Wangga
CD 6 — Walakandha Wangga
CD 7 — Ma-Yawa Wangga

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