25 Most Weird Musical Instruments

Musical instruments are invented, developed, or adapted primarily to produce musical sounds. Listed are the musical instruments highlighted by their strangest façade.

25. Sea Organ

The 70-meter-long Sea Organ is located in Zadar, Croatia. Tubes underneath the large marble steps react to the waves as they crash in, thus making music.

24. Glass Harmonica

The glass harmonica (or the glass armonica, hydrocrystalophone, bowl organ, or armonica) uses glass bowls or goblets varying in size. Musical tones are produced by way of friction.

23. Branching Corrugahorn

The branching corrugahorn was developed by Bart Hopkin. It is a wind instrument with a single mouth-blown air chamber and several corrugated tubes of varying lengths, providing many notes.

22. Ondes Martenot

The ondes Martenot (also called the ondium Martenot and ondes musicales) was invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot. This early electronic musical instrument has eerie wavering notes.

21. Nyckelharpa

The nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish musical instrument with 16 strings and 37 keys. It uses keys to shorten the strings, thus creating different notes.

20. Pikasso Guitar

The Pikasso guitar is a harp guitar invented by Linda Manzer, a Canadian master luthier. This musical instrument has 42 strings, 4 neck holes, and 2 sound holes.

19. Crwth

The crwth is an ancient stringed instrument with a bulging shape, thus the term. It is of Celtic origin.

18. Octobass

The octobass was first built in Paris around 1850 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume. This enormous bowed stringed instrument has a 3.48-meter length and has three strings.

17. Gameleste

The gameleste is a hybrid combination of a gamelan and a celeste. This was invented by Matt Nolan and Björgvin Tómasson.

16. American Fotoplayer

Developed by the American Fotoplayer Company, the American Fotoplayer is a type of player piano. This provides music and sound effects for silent movies.

15. Cross-Grainger Kangaroo Pouch Tone Tool

In 1952, the Cross Grainger kangaroo pouch tone tool was built by Percy Grainger with his wife, Ella, and Burnett Cross. This instrument produces a sound through a series of oscillators and rolls of paper.

14. Theremin

The theremin, originally known as aetherphone, is an early electronic musical instrument invented by Léon Theremin. It is controlled with no physical contact by the thereminist.

13. Hardingfele

The hardingfele, or Hardanger fiddle, is a traditional instrument in Norway, with twice as many strings (i.e., 8 or 9). When the upper 4 strings are played, the four or five other drone strings vibrate. Pieces of bone are sometimes used to decorate the pegs and the edges of the instrument.

12. Hyperbass Flute

The hyperbass flute is the largest member of the flute family and has the lowest pitch. Roberto Fabbriciani is the inventor and primary performer of this huge instrument.

11. Sharpsichord

The sharpsichord was invented by Henry Dagg. This solar-powered music instrument, a pin-barrel harp, has a perforated cylinder with 11,520 holes where pins can be plugged to create melodies.

10. Zeusaphone

The zeusaphone, also known as the singing Tesla coil, thoramin, or musical lightning, produces musical tones through the Tesla coils, by modulating its spark output. This is one shocking musical instrument.

9. Holophonor

The holophonor is a musical instrument and a combination of an oboe and a holographic projector. This fictional-turned-real instrument was created by Harrison Krix, with an old clarinet and 54 added LED lights. Holographic pictures are shown by the projector triggered by the music.

8. Singing Ringing Tree

With music provided by the blowing wind, the Singing Ringing Tree is made up of steels and pipes with different orientations and lengths. This 3-meter-tall sound sculpture was completed in 2006 and designed by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu in Pennine hill range overlooking Burnley in Lancashire, England.

7. Badgermin

A badger crossed with a theremin—and voilà! This is a badgermin! This instrument was made for a New Year’s Eve party in the Dorset countryside.

6. Lur

This long natural blowing horn is played by embouchure and has no finger holes. There are two lur types of ancient wind instrument: the more recent type made of wood and the older type made of bronze.

5. Great Stalacpipe Organ

Inside the Luray Caverns in Virginia, United States, is where the Great Stalacpipe Organ was invented and implemented in 1956 and is considered to be the largest musical instrument in the world. This electrically actuated instrument is operated by a custom console which produces the tapping of ancient stalactites with rubber mallets to produce tones.

4. Jew’s Harp

The Jew’s harp (also known as the jaw harp, Ozark harp, trump, juice harp, or mouth harp) belongs to the category of plucked idiophones. This lamellophone instrument has a flexible metal or bamboo tongue/reed connected to a frame, which is placed in the performer’s mouth and plucked with a finger to produce a sound.

3. Pyrophone Organ

Invented by Georges Frédéric Eugène Kastner, the pyrophone, also called “fire/explosion organ” or “fire/explosion calliope,” is powered by combustion. Its notes are sounded by explosions.

2. Wheelharp

The wheelharp is a musical instrument with a keyboard controlling 61 bowed strings and a foot-controlled motor, producing rich sounds of stringed instruments. This instrument was created by Mitchell Manger and Jon Jones, which debuted at the 2013 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

1. Didgeridoo

The didgeridoo is a wind instrument developed by the Indigenous Australians of northern Australia. Probably the oldest aerophone, this is sometimes defined as a natural wooden trumpet or drone pipe.

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