Since the dawn of time, humanity’s passion for music has lead many creative musicians to design numerous styles of instruments that will achieve the perfect sounds to fit every mood and emotion
There are no limits to the imaginations of many musicians who seek more and more unique sound experiences, and they sometimes come up with strange and wacky ways to achieve this. We have collected some of the freakiest to share with you here.
You will have heard this eerie musical instrument played in horror films, or science fiction movies, and it probably sent shivers down your spine at the time. Invented in the 1960s by Richard Waters, it has been used for sound effects and in film scores, in films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Poltergeist and The Matrix.
Benjamin Franklin was inspired to recreate the delicate ethereal sounds produced when a finger is run around the rim of a wineglass filled with liquid, – so he came up with a single instrument that could do just that in multiple frequency ranges.
Glass bowls of various sizes rotate around a central axle, the musician dampens his fingers and then places them wherever the notes need to be heard. Marie Antoinette played this instrument, and Strauss, Mozart and Beethoven composed pieces specifically for it. Eventually it lost popularity with the invention of the piano.
Another spooky instrument, that uses electrical frequencies, and has been used frequently in science fiction TV shows and films. The musician moves their hands further from or closer to the metal antennae and without even touching anything, they can alter the volume and pitch.
The Great Stalacpipe Organ
This majestic instrument was built in the 1950s by Leland W. Sprinkle, inside a cave in Virginia. Sounds are produced when hammers tap the hanging stalactite crystals. He receives audiences in the cave and also produced a CD.
This instrument was created by an engineer called Steve Mann, utilizing the same principals found in woodwind instruments. Instead of air, water runs through pipes producing small jets that are arranged along the musical scale.
The musician simply has to put a finger onto the jet that represents the note they wish to play.
Jon Rose is an Australian musician who has travelled the world with a bow, and he uses it to play whatever fences he discovers. After gathering different sounding fences together, he developed a special apparatus that incorporates them all, and he takes musicians with him on worldwide tours to play concerts with it.
In Vienna in 1998, an Orchestra was formed that carved musical instruments solely from vegetables. Pepper horns, carrot pipes, pumpkin drums – all made into a soup at the finale, which is then offered to the audience.
Named after the ruler of the four winds, from Greek mythology, this colossal stringed instrument only needs the wind to bring it alive to sing. It sits on top of a hill that was claimed to have had a UFO sighting.
Created as an April Fools joke, this instrument, which combines a lavatory and a euphonium actually plays music. It was played by flautist Fritz Spiegl in a concert for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in 1960.
Wintergatan Marble Machine
This very clever and most peculiar instrument sounds like it is creating electronica music, but is in fact a complex set of switches, wheels and gears that create sound by using falling marbles.
It was created and designed for a Swedish “folktronica” band and it went on tour with them in 2016. It is capable of playing whatever song a musician wishes to play on it.