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Frownland 01-31-2016 11:11 AM

The Cool/Rare/Weird Instrument Appreciation Thread
Post instruments that you think are interesting, preferably ones that are kind of uncommon. Expecting to see a lot of great stuff here. I'll get the ball rolling with


The mouth acts as a resonator where you can change the overtones of the bowing, making a whistling sound. It originated with hunters using their bows as instruments before it took off throughout various tribes.

The Fluid Piano

Great for ragas and other styles of music that uses microtones.

Viola Organistra

One of the more infamous unique instruments since it was invented by Leonardo Da Vinci, but wasn't built until long after his death. It uses the organistrum design (better known as a hurdy gurdy) and applies it to the piano, with the foot pedal controlling the "bows". I have wet dreams about the drone music that this one can make, I find the classical approach in this video to be a little sterile tbh.

TheLhix 01-31-2016 11:18 AM
contrabass balalaika
Picasso Guitar?

grindy 01-31-2016 11:56 AM

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(Sadly no good videos of actual playing)

Paul Metzger's Modified Banjo
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Paolo Angeli's Sardinian Guitar
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Bowhammer Cymbalom (the cymbalom isn't that unusual, but the bows are)
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Glass harmonica
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(Also some nice hang and sintir playing there)
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TheLhix 01-31-2016 12:01 PM

This is some of the freakiest crap I've heard. I love it.

Frownland 01-31-2016 06:08 PM

The semantron: a long piece of wood played as a melodic percussion instrument.

Aloysius 02-01-2016 03:53 AM


Originally Posted by TheLhix (Post 1675632)

This brings back some memories. About 10 years ago I played bass for a Russian Gypsy band. They all wanted me to play bass balalaika (rather than the fender precision copy I was using). It sounded cool but was just too hard for me, I wasn't even a real bass player, just a guitarist pretending to be one. This is the first I've heard of a contrabass balalaika though.

One of my faves is the octabass - lowest notes are below the range of human hearing.

grindy 02-01-2016 06:08 AM

Pedal piano

Basically a two story piano with a full pedalboard.

Here's Alkan's wonderful "Benedictus" played on one. Although I have to say that I slightly prefer this piece being played (contrary to the composer's intentions) on an organ.

Spoiler for YT:


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Frownland 02-01-2016 09:16 AM

"Yaybahar is an electric-free, totally acoustic instrument designed by Gorkem Sen. The vibrations from the strings are transmitted via the coiled springs to the frame drums. These vibrations are turned into sound by the membranes which echo back and forth on the coiled springs. This results in an unique listening experience with an hypnotic surround sound.

What you hear in this performance is captured in realtime without any additional effects and with no post audio processing."

grindy 02-01-2016 09:32 AM

^That thing is awesome. Hope some music that utilizes it well will be released soon.
Couldn't find anything besides four tracks on soundcloud.

Frownland 02-01-2016 09:35 AM

There's this little bit. I'd like to see that played with someone like Stephen O'Malley, I could see that working out well.

And now, this

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