10 Most Unusual Musical Instruments In The World


People are always intrigued and interested in inventing new ways of producing musical sound. To turn their imagination into reality, they invent most unusual musical instruments imaginable that look pretty odd at first glance and often produce funny and laughable sounds for its musicians and listeners. The following is a list of 10 most unusual musical instruments ever created:

10. 12 Neck Guitar

Unusual Musical Instruments
Image source: https://laughingsquid.com

Japanese artist Yoshihiko Satoh seamlessly connects multiple guitars together into giant 12 neck guitar sculptures he calls “Present Arms.”

9. Zeusaphone

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: CMUSE, Image source: Wikimedia

The singing Tesla coil sometimes called a Zeusaphone, or musical lightning is a plasma speaker. It is a variation of a solid state Tesla coil that has been modified to produce musical tones by modulating its spark output. The instrument creates sound by varying visible sparks of electricity to create a futuristic-sounding instrument with electronic qualities.

8. Hydraulophone

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: CMUSE, Image source: Wikipedia

A hydraulophone is a massive water organ – a tonal acoustic musical instrument played by direct physical contact with water where the sound is generated or affected hydraulically creating a traditional organ-like sound. Typically, the sound is produced by the same hydraulic fluid in contact with the player’s fingers.

7. Bikelophone

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: Odd Music, Image source: CMUSE

The Bikelophone was built in 1995 as a project in sound exploration. Using a bicycle frame as its base, the instrument uses a loop-based recording system to make fully layered sounds. The Bikelophone produces sounds ranging from tranquil bliss to cacophonic terror.

With magnetic pickups attached to amplify the sound, anything connected to the bike becomes amplified. The current configuration includes – bass strings, scrap wood and metal, metal bowls, telephone bells, a mechanical foot pedal and a touch sensitive tone generator.

6. Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion

Unusual Musical Instruments
Image source: https://www.lukejerram.com/aeolus/

An Aeolus is a giant stringed musical instrument – an acoustic and optical pavilion designed to make audible the silent shifting patterns of the wind. Named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek god of the wind, the instrument is designed to resonate and sing with the wind without any electrical power or amplification.

5. Serpent

Unusual Musical Instruments
Courtesy of the Musée Instrumental, IV Department of the MRAH; © IRPA-KIK, Brussels

The serpent is a bass wind instrument, whose serpentine body produces a rich tone and a wide dynamic range. With an instrument mouthpiece and a woodwind’s finger holes, the serpent’s twisted cone-shape gives it a unique sound, a mix between a tuba and a trumpet. The instrument is claimed to have been invented by Edmé Guillaume in 1590 in Auxerre, France.

4. The Nellophone

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: CMUSE, Image: Red Cover Studios

The Nellophone is an instrument made of the tube ranging in length from 6 to 30 feet, and the entire device spans from 12 feet wide by 15 feet high. All tubes were arranged in a circle of 3,6 meters wide. With the musician standing at the instrument’s axis, a slap of the special paddles across the padded mouth of each tube produces a hauntingly electronic sound.

3. The Sharpsichord

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: CMUSE

The Sharpsichord is an automatic acoustic harp containing 11,520 holes. These holes are threaded to accept one of the 3mm threaded pins kept in a tray under the cylinder, similar to a music box.

As the cylinder rotates, each pin lifts a lever coupled to a mechanism, which plucks the appropriate string. The energy from the pair of strings is then transferred to a bridge which amplifies the sound with a large horn. Surely, one of the most complicated and unusual instruments on this list.

2. Loophonium

Unusual Musical Instruments
Source: CMUSE, Image: David Tomlinson Photos

Loophonium is the marriage of a euphonium and a lavatory. Whether you called it a perfect surrealist work of art or a nicely-painted toilet bowl, this completely functional merger of euphonium and a toilet bowl was done for a concert of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra held in 1960. The man who created this instrument was the orchestra’s principal flutist Fritz Spiegl.

1. Badgermin

Unusual Musical Instruments
Image source: http://nervoussquirrel.com/

Dubbed the Badgermin, this unusual musical instrument is the combination of deceased badger and Theremin. The “Theremin” is a musical instrument traditionally played via two metal antennas which sense the position of the player’s hands, allowing it to operate without actually being touched.

In this case, David Cranmer (the creator of Badgermin) combine the dead badger with a theremin creating the weirdest electronic musical instrument in our list producing haunting sounds that will tantalize your ears as well as your eyes. His other creations include a Musical Pig, the Furby Gurby and Nine Owls In A Baguette.