The weirdest music instruments in the world

The weirdest music instruments in the world

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Guitars, drums, saxophone, clarinet, violin, piano… yes, we all heard of these music instruments.

But what about the ones either used only in certain geographical regions or promoted only for specific, odd music genres, which sometimes are a mix of many genres combined in an abstract way.

This is a list of the weirdest music instruments that you can find in the world.

1. American fotoplayer

One of the most bizarre instruments, is the American fotoplayer, which was developed by the company that the instrument was named after. The company also created over 12,000 American fotoplayers, becoming one of the most famous brands on the market – although as soon as sound films started to appear in the 1920s, the company ceased the fotoplayer production five years later.

In 1912, this sort of piano-look alike was created in order to produce sound effects for silent movies, back in the 19th century (the early days of the film industry). Today, there are only 50 existent musical instruments of this kind, and only 12 of them are still playable.

American fotoplayer

2. The Pikasso guitar

Because of the works of art originated by Pablo Picasso, Linda Manzer thought of inventing a guitar to honour the artist. All in all, the Pikasso guitar is a harp with four necks, two sound holes and a total of 42 strings attached to it. The guitar has the Manzer Wedge, which is known to be a unique ergonomic feature.

Besides the Pikasso guitar, Manzer also designed more than 50 guitar prototypes such as the first acoustic Baritone model, Sitar guitar and soprano guitars.

The Pikasso guitar

3. Glass Harmonica

This is one of the most beautiful instruments ever due to the sounds born from it. It is also called “hydrocrystalophone” (or the bowl organ), the harmonica is an instrument built out of multiple glass bowls that are graduated in sizes so that they would produce all sorts of tones and sounds.

The singer has to rub a wet finger around the rim of a wine goblet in order to produce sounds very similar to the ones heard during the Renaissance era. It is said that the first one to play this instrument was Richard Pockrich, an Irish musician who performed a show in the 1740s, in London.

Glass Harmonica

4. Jew’s Harp

Considered to be one of the oldest instruments in the world (dating back in the 4th Century BC), this one is also knows as jaw harp, trump, juice harp, mouth harp or Ozark harp.

It is actually a lamellophone, which appertains to the plucked idiophones, a group of instruments found in the Hornbostel-Sachs system (that consists of instruments equipped with one or more tongues placed in the mouth of the performer. Other such examples are the jaw harp, the African mbira or the thumb piano – instruments you could always use to create, for instance, a great psychedelic album.

Jew’s Harp

5. Singing Ringing Tree

Made of galvanised steel pipes that have multiple lengths and orientations, the singing ringing tree was designed by Anna Liu and Mike Tonkin. The construction is a 3-meter long art that covers several octaves via its pipes. The way this works is only with the help of the wind.

The wind powers the sculpture that’s located in Lancashire, England, on the Pennine hill. The project was finished in 2006, and it is one of other four sculptures created by ELEAN (The East Lancashire Environmental Arts Network) that also try to draw the world’s attention upon iconic symbols of the renaissance vibe of the area. The Singing Ringing Tree has won the National Award of RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) for architectural excellence.

Singing Ringing Tree