Ten of The World’s Strange Musical Instruments

From the haunting melodies of ancient civilizations to the avant-garde symphonies of the modern age, music transcends language and culture, weaving stories through sound. But beyond the familiar strings of a guitar or the resonant keys of a piano lies a lesser-known realm of musical marvels. In this article, we embark on an auditory adventure to discover ten of the world’s strangest musical instruments. These are not your everyday instruments; they are the wild, the wonderful, and the downright weird. Each one challenges our understanding of what music can be and invites us to listen to the world through a different lens. Join us as we explore the curious corners of musical invention and meet the instruments that orchestrate the extraordinary as well as some fun pictures of cats playing musical Instruments for some extra smiles…

Unveiling the Orchestra of the Odd: Ten of the World’s Strangest Musical Instruments

Cat playing DJ decks

The Lithophane

The Lithophane is a Stalacpipe Organ made from a rock! Located in the Luray Caverns of Virginia it was invented by Leland W. Sprinkle. The story behind it says that way back in 1956 he noted the musical resonance in the cave when his son banged his head on a low-hanging stalactite! Weird indeed.

Cat playing piano

The Glass Armonica

The Glass Armonica was made by none other than Ben Franklin! Back in 1761, he was inspired by the sound of glass bowls being played by stroking the lid of a wine glass filled with water and so created this instrument that features Thirty-seven bowls are arranged on a spindle and slowly spun.

Cat playing bass guitar

The Zeusaphone

The Zeusaphone is basically a Tesla Coil in 1891. Sounds are made by harnessing the low-voltage, high-frequency currents of the coil. Another strange fact about this instrument is that the names come from the Greek God!

Cat playing flute

Laser harp

Many of us are well aware of the Laser harp because Jean Michel Jarre famously used it in his shows. But it is still very strange nonetheless.

Kittens playing drums

The Stylophone

I don’t know about most other people, but I am well aware and indeed have played the Stylophone! Made by Dubreq it was invented in 1967 and had a metal keyboard that was played with a stylus. Electronic music at its very best.

Cat playing trumpet

The Omnichord

The Omnichord was made by motorbike manufacturer Suzuki in the early 1980’s. This touch-sensitive pad has even been used by professional musicians Robbie Williams, David Bowie, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Bjork, and even Ringo Starr!

cat playing an accordion

The Theremin

The Theremin is one of the world’s earliest fully electronic musical instruments. Invented by a Russian inventor in 1919 it consists of two metal antennas that sense the relative position of the player’s hand and produces an eerie sound heard on classic tracks by none other than Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones!

Cat playing Banjo

Panasonic Do-Re-Mi

It might look and indeed sound like a child’s toy, but the Panasonic Do-Re-Mi is a proper musical instrument and has been used by many people and bands. This mini piano also had a mini turntable so you could play with the keyboard and the turntable together, a kind of very early DJ/Pianist combo.

Cat playing acoustic guitar

The Chromatone 312

The Chromatone 312 is a Janko keyboard and was patented back in 1882 by Hungarian mathematician/musician Paul von Janko. What makes this keyboard so special was that it had over 300 keys! Meaning only the most highly skilled musicians could play it.

cat playing a violin

The Bazantar

The Bazantar was invented by Mark Deutsch. This five-string acoustic bass is fitted with an additional twenty-nine sympathetic strings and four drone strings. It was said to have a melodic range of over five octaves while its sympathetic range spans four octaves!

Author: Gus Barge

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