24 Unusual Instruments You Didn’t Know Existed

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Forget the tuba, guitar, piano, and bass. They are no match to these odd-looking, most unusual musical instruments. Some may look like they came from a horror movie, while others produce an eerie sound fit for a sci-fi film! So, without further ado, here are the most peculiar, strangest instruments you will ever find. 

24. Pikasso Guitar

Why don’t you try the Pikasso – the guitar with multiple necks! You’ve read that right. This string instrument includes not one but FOUR necks. If that isn’t strange enough for you, this guitar has a whopping 42 strings and two holes. 

In case you are wondering, master luthier Linda Manzer named this odd-looking instrument after Pablo Picasso.

23. Zeusaphone

The Zeusaphone is one of the most unusual instruments on our list. It is not a wind instrument, it doesn’t have strings, and most certainly, you can’t hit its surface like a percussion. And, odd as it already is, you can manipulate its sound. 

The Zeusaphone is powered by Tesla coils – yes, electricity. And, you can buy this instrument

Curious how it sounds? Watch the clip below: 

22. Yaybahar

What do you get if you combine percussion, strings, and coiled springs? It’s no other than a Yaybahar, an acoustic instrument of Turkish origin. 

There are two framed drums, each connected to a long spring. These springs are connected to the long neck that only holds two strings. Amazingly, you don’t need to hook this instrument to a system. You can run rubber mallets on the long spring, hit the drums, and use a bow to produce a sci-fi-like cello sound. 

21. Toha

We all know only one person plays the harp, but what if you can have two players plucking the strings simultaneously? Well, it’s no longer a regular harp; it’s a Totem Harp or Toha – a two-player harp inspired by weaver birds. 

A Toha features a circular design, allowing two musicians to play simultaneously. Each side of the instrument has the same number of strings and tuning. Composer Victor Gama designed and created Toha. 

20. Hurdy Gurdy

The Hurdy Gurdy is another strange instrument from the string family. Instead of plucking or using a bow, you’ll use a hand-crank. When you turn the hand crank, a rosined wheel will rub against the strings, creating friction and, of course, sound. 

Hear the Hurdy Gurdy for yourself in the clip above: 

19. Duduk

The Duduk is a woodwind instrument consisting of a double reed with a flared bell made of cane or apricot wood. It is a unique-sounding instrument that can be played solo or in an ensemble. So, how does it sound? It is close to a flute or piccolo.

To continue reading, check out the original article published on Orchestra Central.

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Featured Photo by Harrie Muis on Shutterstock

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Bobby is a viola player who currently lives in Seattle. He has been playing viola for over 20 years in various orchestras.


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