All across the world, people are continually inventing new musical instruments. But as we are so stuck with the usual ones we never realise that what we are missing .The world is full of interesting instruments that are present around us but might have been unnoticed. Here are a few examples:
- The spoons: People figured out that you can play percussions by slapping two spoons in your hand. Ever thought about that!
- The Stalacpipe organ of the Luray caverns of Virginia, the series of natural stalactites, struck with mallets controlled electronically by a keyboard was invented in 1956 by Leland W. Sprinkle.
- The Glass harmonica invented in 1761 by Benjamin Franklin, it is a series of glass rings, spinning on wet cylinder which are played by running wet fingers across as they spin.
- The Theremin was Invented by Leon Theremin in 1928 was one of the first electronic instruments. Pitch and volume are controlled by two electric field sensors which register how far a person’s hand or body is away from it.
Hold on because we haven’t even started with our list of 10 most interesting musical instruments.So without a further adieu let’s explore the world of music:
The hang was invented in the year 2000 by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer. Since its creations there has been many generic versions called “hand pans”. The hang is played by slapping intonations on the metal dome by one’s fingers. The different sizes of intonations correspond to different notes.
It is basically a Tesla coil which has been adapted to play music. It might sound abrasive but it looks really cool, that’s because a Zeusaphone is using bolts of static electricity emitted from a Tesla coil to play different pitches. The pitch is controlled by a mini keyboard and sequencer which tells the transducer to change the rate at which the electronic discharge pulsates. The faster pulse equals a higher pitch. Groups like arc dream can be seen lighting up festivals and creating magic using their Zeusaphone.
This was originally built as a part of a larger installation. The music box raven village. Its truly an authentic area farm because it generates sounds by catching winds using tubes which are attached to the spinning fans. Each fan is connected via belts to motors, when you pull on the ropes a pulley system tightens the belts allowing a particular fan to spin fast enough to catch the wind and make a tone.
An entire collection of The hybrid visions:
Ken Butler has made a hundred instruments out of found objects. For example the hockey racket is made from a tennis racket, a hockey stick, door stops and other random pieces of metal. It can be played like a violin and even like a guitar. The hockey stick slides in your pocket so you do not even need a strap. Ken Butler has made so many musical instruments that he doesn’t name them anymore.
The laser harp:
The laser harp has been made into various shapes and sizes and because it is electronic it can be programmed to play a wide range of sounds. The fundamental construction is a series of lasers are hitting adjacent sensors that register when your fingers, hand or other object move to block the laser. The sensor tells the sampler or the synthesizer what corresponding note to play.
The wheel harp:
It is created by Jon Jones and Mitchell Manger. At first they debuted in 2013.It’s a musical instrument with bowed strings controlled by a keyboard. Its strings are played with a spinning wheel which is powered by a foot control treadle.
This instrument is invented by Andy Thurlow. It’s an interactive installation and invites the spectators to come and be a part of the band. The instruments are tuned to the same key so the knowledge of music theory is not needed to play them. So when playing this instrument the musicians look strange and completely out of this world.
The earth harp:
Invented in 1999 by William Close it is the longest string instrument in the world. With Strings that extended up to a 1000 feet length, usually stretched between buildings or opposite walls of a concert hall. The strings are played by rubbing gloved hands along the strings to create vibrations.
The Sharpsicord was invented by an English composer Henry Dag. It is a 46 string harp playing by a pin cylinder, the composer screws pin into the pin cylinder at the desired note positions at the time signature. A solar power motor is used to spin the cylinder. Each pin lifts a lever mechanism which plucks the appropriate strings .Each string, then transfers its energy to a rocking bridge covered to a long diaphragm whose vibrations are amplified acoustically by two large horns. A keyboard allows for a real time performance.
It was built in 2014 by Gorkem Sen in Turkey. It is a purely acoustic instrument which sounds like a synthesiser. It is played by hitting and stroking horizontal cords which a mallet, plucking and strumming vertical strings and drumming on the feet. Drum like membranes and a coil string act to create further resonations which gives this instrument its strange sound.
There are still many more musical instruments which probably you have not seen. However the world is full of musical instruments which have been used by various cultures across the centuries, it is up to you to get out and explore. So what are you waiting for, awaken the musician inside you and reach out for your favourite instrument.