Amazing Musical Instruments

The World's Most Amazing Instrument

Incredible gallery of amazing and odd musical instruments.

Oddmusic is home to unique, odd, ethnic, experimental and unusual musical instruments and resources. Tour the Gallery, see in-depth sections featuring artisans who blazed new trails or are on the cutting edge of new and previously unheard musical instruments.

The World's Most Amazing Instrument
The World's Most Amazing InstrumentTraditionally percussion and various musical instruments have been the calling card of culture, time and civilization. Whatever, you have to admit this is quite an impressive instrument. All these four pictures are of : ABSOLUT MACHINES - Amazing robotic, web connected ping-pong tossing musical instrument, a large-scale electromechanical sculpture. Dan Paluska (the other maker is Jeff Lieberman) - they have created the "ABSOLUT QUARTET", an "automated multi-instrumental orchestral machine, a large-scale electromechanical sculpture consisting of three instruments and thousands of parts, working together to create one piece of music. The main timbre is a marimba played by balls shot from a robotic cannon. Other components include a series of wineglasses played by little robotic fingers and an array of robotic percussive instruments". Due Capi

Due Capi- Italian for “Two Heads”, the instrument is made from aluminum, wood, drum heads, and contains piezo pickups. The Due Capi was invented and created by Oliver DiCicco of the group Mobius Operandi.

Hydraulophone
Hydraulophone
Boxbass
Boxbass
The happy drum
The happy drum

The unique tone of the HAPI Drum, is created by a tuned vibrating tongue of steel. The concept is similar to a wooden tongue drum. When a tongue is quickly and lightly struck with the finger or mallet, it vibrates creating sound waves. Playing a HAPI is similar to playing the Hang Drum, though the similarities end there, as it is a totally different type of musical instrument.

The pipe organ
The pipe organ

An amazing musical instrument, an hydraulis pipe organ, the first keyboard musical instrument in history, invented by Ktesibios of Alexandria, a 3rd century BC engineer. It consists of 27 bronze pipes, 2cm. diameter and varying in length up to 1.20 metres, and 16 pipes of 1 cm. diameter, placed on a box. The organ was operated by air pumped under pressure through water and controlled by keys. This is the earliest example of the hydraulis organ which was the forerunner of church organs.

Legendary multi-instrumentalist and dulcimer maker, Homer Ledford (1926-2006) playing the Musical Saw at the Kentucky Governor's Mansion in 1997
Legendary multi-instrumentalist and dulcimer maker, Homer Ledford (1926-2006) playing the Musical Saw at the Kentucky Governor's Mansion in 1997

The saw is generally played seated with the handle squeezed between the legs, and the far end held with one hand. It is generally played with the teeth facing the body. In the early 20th century the Musical Saw began to get very popular in America and Europe as well. It is also known as the Singing Saw, as it produces a very pure ethereal tone, and can sound similar to a woman’s high singing voice.

Bowafridgeaphone
Bowafridgeaphone

The name of this mammoth beast is the Bowafridgeaphone (bow a fridge a phone). Experimental instrument maker Iner Souster has used refrigerator grates in quite a few of his instruments… Fridge grates, oh fridge grates I love you. Violin bows, on the other hand, are quite afraid of his instruments.

Other items include a broken old speaker, a bundt cake pan, metal salad bowl, and the few other pieces of metal he had lying around his spaceship workshop. There’s also 36 strings along the body to help with its resonance, and pick up a few sympathetic tones along the way.

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The Car Music Project was conceived in late 1991 by composer Bill Milbrodt (mil-brōt), when his personal car, a battered and road-weary 1982 Honda Accord, was nearing the end of its useful life.

Milbrodt explains, “It had endured close to 200,000 miles of road life with little mechanical maintenance and even less cosmetic attention. It would cost more to repair than it was worth and the poor thing had virtually no value as a trade-in. The paint was faded, pesky springs poked through the upholstery, knobs and handles were missing, and the electrical system was iffy. It dripped oil, blew smoke, and made more noise than a cement mixer. It was time to turn the car into music.”

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