Uncommon Musical Instruments Around the World


Music, no matter where it comes from, is a universal language. Everyone who listens to music or plays it is connected in one way or another. For many years, people have been discovering and creating new ways to produce a new kind of sound. You may know a lot of musical instruments, but surely, you don’t know all of them.

You may be familiar with the harp, guitar, drums, flute, violin, clarinet, and other common musical instruments. However, there are many instruments out there in the world, both old and new, that many of us have not even heard yet. Many of which may seem a little out of the ordinary or just plain bizarre. To give you an idea on how outrageous and strange some musical instruments can be, we have listed a few of them on this page. Have fun learning about the world’s most uncommon instruments and how they came to be!

The World’s Strangest Musical Instruments:

1. Gajda

Seeing a Gajda for the first time could be kind of freaky, but it if you’re from Southern Europe, it really isn’t all that weird. The Gajda is a traditional bagpipe instrument made of goat or sheep skin and is played in several parts of Southern Europe. Countries like Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Romania, and Turkey all have different variations of this instrument. The essential parts of this instrument include the bag, blowpipe, chanter, stocks, and drone. The bag is made from goat or sheep hide and could sometimes include the head.

2. Pyrophone Organ

Also known as the “fire or explosion organ”, the pyrophone is an instrument that produces the sound of rapid explosions or combustion. Invented in the 19th century by Georges Frédéric Eugène Kastner, the pyrophone was designed to operate with an internal combustion. It is usually powered by propane or gasoline supplied to the base of glass chambers protruding the organ. The different notes produced are due to the different diameters and heights of the glass chambers.

3. Sea Organ (Croatia)

If you think you’ve seen it all, you’ve probably never seen this musical instrument known as the Sea Organ. It is named as such because it is an instrument played by the waves from the sea. Found in Croatia, the Sea Organ produces its sound from the movement of the waves and underwater organ tubes made from polyethylene. The instrument has attracted locals and tourists to this one-of-a-kind place. Its sound is said to be like “white noise” and if listened carefully, could clear the mind.

4. Singing Ringing Tree

Found in Lancashire, the Singing Ringing Tree is both a musical and architectural masterpiece. Like the Sea Organ, the Singing Ringing Tree is powered by nature. It is made of several galvanized steel pipes of varying heights which use the wind to create different sounds that reach several octaves. Some of the pipes in the structure were included for visual effect. Standing 3 meters tall, this instrument won the 2007 National Award of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

5. Theremin

Ever wondered where that eerie music from the original Star Trek came from? Ever seen Sheldon Cooper play that weird instrument on Big Bang Theory? This popular instrument, invented in the 1920s, is one of the most iconic instruments in history for its unique and unearthly sound. It has been heard on the songs of Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. Its electronic sound comes from electric signals sensed by two antennae from the movement of your hands. The sound is then amplified by a loudspeaker.

6. Laser Harp

Another electronic instrument is the laser harp. It is an instrument that displays several strings of laser beams that act like a harp when blocked by the musician’s hands. This has been used by artists like Jean Michael Jarre and Little Boots.

7. Hydraulophone

The hydraulophone is an acoustic instrument made of a long tube with several holes that spit out water. A different sound or note is produced when the player blocks water from coming out of each hole. It looks similar to a flute and is often compared to a piano because of how the fingers are arranged on the holes of the hydraulophone.

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