User Tools

Site Tools


Musical Instruments


The marimba is a musical instrument from the idiophone group. In its ethnic version, it is a primitive variety of xylophone with resonators used in southern and central Africa and Central America. In the version used by classical percussionists, it is an instrument with very high timbral and dynamic capabilities used for solo playing, in ensembles and for performances with symphony orchestras. 1)


The crumhorn (meaning curved horn) is an ancient wind musical instrument in which the sound source is a double reed. The horn may be of various lengths, but it is always curved upwards in a shape resembling the letter “J”. The bend is only decorative and does not affect the sound. It was commonly used in Renaissance music. The instrument is also used in modern folk music, rock (Gryphon band) and heavy metal (e.g. Haggard). 2)


The balafon is a traditional West African percussion instrument, still very popular today in countries including Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Senegal. It is a variety of xylophone in which dried calabash fruits are used as resonance boxes. Often in the calabashes, one can find holes sealed with a thin foil that acts as a membrane, which gives the sound a specific buzzing sound (traditionally very dense spider webs were used to make the membranes). 3)

Hurdy gurdy

The hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that usually has three to eight strings. The player's right hand turns the crank and the left hand presses the melodic keys from below. The crank moves a wheel that, as it turns, rubs the strings just like in other string instruments. The instrument was popular in medieval and Renaissance music. Today it has become popular with many musicians. The hurdy-gurdy was played by Brendan Perry (Dead Can Dance) in the song “Severance,” among others. The instrument plays the mainline in the song “Low Man's Lyric” by Metallica. 4)

Jew's Harp

The Jew's Harp is a metal instrument that produces sounds from the vibration of a springy plate placed in the mouth. It is usually made of metal, with European instruments made of steel, while Asian instruments are made of bronze. Sometimes, in Indochina and Alaska it is made of wood, bamboo or other materials. 5)


Aeolus takes its name from the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology. It is not so much a musical instrument in the literal sense, as an installation of just the right size, impressive in its intricate construction and shape. Aeolus is not only in appearance entitled to be associated with a futuristic gateway to another dimension - the wind that plays its arias on it actually seems to transport the listener to the mysterious outskirts of what we used to call popular music. 6)

3D instruments

A violin or guitar produced in 3D by the printer produces interesting effects. Although deviating musically from the original, 3D instruments, provide ample opportunities for experimentation and performance. 7)


Also referred to as a “musical Tesla coil,” Zeusaphone is, as the name suggests, an option for Olympians. A synth-like and very spectacular attempt to persuade Tesla's transformers to engage in musical dialogues. The effect, while still quite far from concert-like, is certainly electrifying. 8)


A living “Space Odyssey” among musical instruments. In appearance, it resembles a primitive, early-civilization tribal instrument, although that's an optimistic take - many of us have a right to associate it with an endless rack for a tipi. However, the sound capabilities of the Yaybahar mean that the instrument, which was built by Turkish musician Gorkem Sen, could delight many a Moog or Doepfer fan. Yaybahar is perhaps the first semi-modular not powered by electricity and radically exhausts the popular term “full-analog.” 9)

The wheelharp

The wheelharp is a phenomenon. Designed by none other than Leonardo da Vinci, it was built to the Master's design only contemporaneously. Sentimental and inspiring. One begs that Yann Tiersen would like to include it in the instrumentation when recording his next material. It sounds much more subtle than its industrially-associated appearance might indicate. 10)


An instrument conceived according to the principle that you can play anything. An ideal tool for performers and those who do not mind the toy-like appearance of Otomatone. Against all appearances, it is suitable for playing two, three, or more voices. Pocket Operators' pocket synths are, next to Otomatone's, simply unimaginably advanced technology, and yet it can be done. 11)


Suzuki's electronic instrument was invented in 1981 as an alternative to the automatic chord zither (autoharp). It plays chords located under the buttons and which are modified using a touchpad that mimics the action of a string system. The Omnichord, shaped like a squash racket case, has lived to see many variations, has a built-in speaker, and most often supports MIDI. Although heavily dominated in recent years by hipsters covering Beirut, it will also work well for more serious compositions. 12)


Looking like the practice material of a young welder, the waterphone is a structure resembling various lengths of metal rods connected to a half-hang drum, acting as a resonator. It can be played with a bow or baton, but there is no contraindication to doing it any other way. The sound of the waterphone is strongly Hitchcock-like, disturbing, and cold, reminiscent of music from horror films of the 1950s and 1960s. It will not be suitable for a campfire. 13)

Watermelon keyboard

The recipe reads as follows: some clamps, 100 grams of engineering knowledge, a pinch of the circuit board, one portion of USB cable, and juicy chunks of watermelon. At one point, an artist nicknamed Mezerg became a hit on the Internet. A funky tune with a synth sound. Sound tasty? You touch a piece of watermelon - you close a circuit that tells it what note to produce from the software connected to it. After playing, the instrument continues to be edible. Just don't forget to wash your hands (and the fruit itself!). 14)

Glass harp

Wine should be drunk from a glass. Or glasses. Before drinking the cheering liquor, you can also play the glass harp. It is enough to fill these glasses to the required volume and rub the rim with a moist fingertip. The glass harp enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 18th century when it was considered a prestigious instrument. Unfortunately, it had to give way to its more spectacular and virtuosic brethren - including the harmonium. 15)


One of the strangest musical apparatuses is an installation created from balloons. Aerodron is a combination of a pump, plastic tubes, valves, trumpets with membranes applied, and balloons. By blowing air, you can get a sound similar to that of horns. And here the number matters - the effect is stronger the more balloons are pumped. Different intensities can be obtained by squeezing the balloon, or by unscrewing the valves. The composition is built by the Argentine band Lugar Otro, and the performer Javier Bustos is probably a world phenomenon. 16)


Stylophone is a miniature analog stylus-operated keyboard. The metal keyboard is played by touching it with a stylus to create each note. 17)


The theremin is one of the earliest electronic instruments. The instrument has two metal antennas that can sense the positions of the player’s hands, which control the volume and pitch of the instrument. 18)

musical_instruments.txt · Last modified: 2022/08/17 05:42 by aga