Melodic Mischief: 15 Of The Weirdest Musical Instruments

Ever get tired of the same old guitar and drum routine? Up next, the weirdest musical instruments we could find in the internet archives. We’re talking about instruments that sound like they were created during an intergalactic jam session or look like a robot-made image.

1. Theremin aka Ghostly waves

Theremin aka Ghostly waves

The theremin is like the rockstar of weird instruments. You play it by waving your hands in the air, controlling electromagnetic fields to make an eerie, otherworldly sound. It’s the go-to instrument for sci-fi and horror movies soundtrack.

2. Singing saw aka The lumberjack serenade

weirdest musical instruments: Singing saw aka The lumberjack serenade

This is nothing more than a regular saw but you make it sing. The singing saw produces haunting, ethereal tones when the bow touches the serrated edge.

3. Waterphone aka Aquatic symphony

Waterphone aka Aquatic symphony

Looking like a bizarre mix between a UFO and a torture device, the waterphone is played by bowing its rods or by striking them with a mallet. You get haunting, water-like sounds that could be the soundtrack for an underwater alien invasion.

4. Glass armonica aka Musical glassware

Glass armonica aka Musical glassware

Invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761, this instrument is a series of glass bowls or goblets of different sizes mounted on a spindle and played by rubbing the rims with wet fingers. Not a very popular instrument today, in fact it’s quite hard to get your hand on one.

5. Hurdy-gurdy aka Medieval funk machine

weirdest musical instruments: Hurdy-gurdy aka Medieval funk machineThe hurdy-gurdy is like a medieval string instrument crossed with a crank organ. Musicians turn a hand-crank, causing a wheel to bow the strings, creating a sound that’s part violin, part bagpipe, and entirely unique.

6. Didgeridoo aka Outback soundwaves

Didgeridoo aka Outback soundwavesOriginating from Aboriginal cultures in Australia, the didgeridoo is a long, tube-like instrument that produces a low, resonant drone. It’s played by blowing air through a small opening while vibrating the lips. So, more vibration of the lips and less pressure when blowing, we’re not talking about a trumpet.

7. Sho aka Bamboo breeze

Sho aka Bamboo breeze

Next up we have a traditional Japanese instrument made from bamboo pipes. It makes a distinctive, breathy sound that’s both meditative and mysterious, often used in traditional Gagaku court music.

8. Stroh violin aka Horn-powered harmony

Stroh violin aka Horn-powered harmony

The Stroh violin looks like a regular violin but has a metal resonator and a horn instead of the traditional wooden body. It was designed to be louder for recording purposes in the early 20th century.

9. Octobass aka Monstrous Low Tones

weirdest musical instruments: Octobass aka Monstrous Low Tones

Guys, the octobass is a gigantic cousin of the double bass, standing over 11 feet tall. With strings so thick you could practically climb them, this instrument produces incredibly deep, rumbling tones.

10. Hydraulophone aka Fun water sounds

Hydraulophone aka Fun water sounds

The hydraulophone is a water-based instrument where pressing fingers on jets of water creates different musical notes. It’s like playing a keyboard, but instead of keys, you’re manipulating water streams.

11. Chapman stick aka Fingerboard coolness

Chapman stick aka Fingerboard coolness

The Chapman Stick is a unique string instrument played by tapping the strings directly with both hands. It allows for complex combos and produces a distinctive, percussive sound.

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12. Thunder tube aka The one you can DIY

Thunder tube aka The one you can DIY

Shaped like a small drum, the thunder tube creates a thunder-like sound when you shake it. It’s a simple and fun instrument that you use just for the fun of it whenever you need a thunder-like sound effect.

13. Ondes Martenot aka The retro sound

Ondes Martenot aka The retro sound

This electronic instrument is older than the synthesizer, being played with a keyboard and a ring that controls pitch. You can use it to get those eerie, spacey sounds you might hear in old sci-fi movies. And even the Daft Punk guys used it.

14. Nose flute aka Nasal tunes

Nose flute aka Nasal tunes

We know it’s hard to believe this one but this is a real instrument, not a frat party challenge. It’s a simple flute that you play by placing it against your nose and using your breath to create melodies. A unique talent for those who like to march to the beat of their own… nose.

15. Badgermin aka Part badger, part theremin

Badgermin aka Part badger, part theremin

Yeah, the cute, burrowing, forest-dwelling creature. This is an updated version of the Theremin we’ve mentioned earlier, if we could say so. No, it doesn’t speak badger language, but it sure does produce some funky, out-of-this-world sounds.

What is The Vegetable Orchestra?

Think of crafting instruments out of vegetables and then playing them. The Vegetable Orchestra does just that. From carrot flutes to cucumberophones, this ensemble creates a unique symphony with fresh produce.

Aaaand stop, our list of the weirdest musical instruments is over and done. Who knew music could be so delightfully odd? So, next time you’re bored of the same old playlist, remember: there’s a whole universe of funky instruments waiting for you.

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