Humans are incredibly creative beings. We love to create music and do so in unique and new ways. Many geniuses across the world and throughout the centuries have invented ingenious musical instruments that produce new and beautiful sounds. Here are seven unique instruments from around the world. Click the headings to hear samplings from these instruments!
Developed around 1920, by Leon Theremin, this instrument is quite different. It was one of the first of its kind to use electronics solely to make music. The theremin is characterized by eerie and almost ethereal sounds that are reminiscent of science fiction movies. This instrument has been used to both play music and create sound effects. One unique thing about the theremin is that it does not require human contact to produce notes. One of your hands, suspended within the electromagnetic fields controls the frequency while the other controls the volume.
The Pikasso guitar was invented specifically for the musician, Pat Metheny. It took the designer about two whole years to entirely construct. There are multiple necks and a total of forty-two strings that make up this funky guitar. The Pikasso guitar can create complex sounds that you would not hear from a standard guitar. There are plucking sounds, bass tones, and conventional guitar strumming. This instrument pulls its name from the famous Picasso, as it looks like a piece of work he may have constructed.
The Hang was invented in 2000 by two men in Switzerland. It was the result of a scientific study that was done on metal instruments. The inspiration for the Hang came from the Trinidadian steel pan drum, and if you look closely, it seems as though two steel pan drums have been connected at the lips. This instrument is played with your hands, while it sits in your lap. Gentle drummings on the surface of the Hang produce soothing and psychedelic sounds.
This rare and beautiful instrument was created by none other than Benjamin Franklin. The Glass Armonica produces sounds that are similar to the noise that is generated when you rub damp fingers along the edge of a glass. There are thirty-seven bowls that are all attached on an iron needle. Using a foot pedal, the needle is spun, and you run your fingers along the edges of the bowls to produce the music. The Glass Armonica delivers delicate and almost shrill notes.
These are just four of many interesting instruments from around the world. Check back next month for part two of this series!
Part Two is now available! Read it here.