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Blog overview

Unique instruments: Our top 5 picks in the world of music

Rahima Khan, in Community news
Sep 15, 2023 | 4 min read

Today we’re embarking on a journey to uncover the top 5 most unique instruments from around the globe – the kind that will leave you utterly amazed and your ears craving for more.

So, let’s plunge into a realm of musical creativity that’s truly a captivating harmony of originality!

1. Nyckelharpa


Source: Other Minds

From the frosty realms of Sweden comes this unique instrument that has been around for more than 600 years yet remains refreshingly novel to many. The Nyckelharpa, which means “keyed fiddle,” beautifully marries strings with wooden keys. As these keys get pressed, they stop the strings, resulting in a haunting, resonant sound. Coupled with its intricate wooden design, it’s both a pleasure for the eyes and the ears.

2. Playtron

Playtron and TouchMe MIDI controllers

The Playtron MIDI Controller offers a unique way to create your custom MIDI controller. It can connect up to 16 objects with alligator clips. This allows you to use it with several mobile apps, online synthesizers, or your favourite DAW.

From fruits to plants, and even toys, the possibilities are endless. Connect the clips from objects capable of conducting electricity to Playtron, and assign a different MIDI note (C1 to D#2 by default) to each object. Then, you can start playing and creating your unique sounds!

3. Hydraulophone

hydraulaphone unique instrument

Source: Research Gate

Diving deep into innovation, we encounter the Hydraulophone – an instrument played by manipulating water flow. The instrument’s pipes are designed to emit different pitches when water is pressed through them. Found in places like science centres and interactive museums, the Hydraulophone is a unique instrument that lets you literally touch the music. It’s a symphony of water and sound, offering a refreshing take on musical expression.

4. Glass Armonica: 

glass armonica

Source: Benjamin Franklin House

Invented by Benjamin Franklin. It is a mesmerizing and unique instrument made up of spinning glass bowls of varying sizes. By wetting your fingers and gently touching the glass, you can create beautiful and crystal-clear tones. With a history dating back to the 18th century, this instrument continues to bewitch listeners with its delicate and soothing melodies.

5. Erhu: 

Erhu unique instrument

Source: Cultural Keys

Lastly, from the vast landscapes of China, emerges the Erhu. This two-stringed unique instrument, often referred to as the Chinese violin, has a sound that tugs directly at the heartstrings. Despite its simple construction, the Erhu can convey a broad spectrum of emotions, from the depths of sorrow to the amazing heights of joy.

Bonus Pick!



Source: Marshall Music

Next, let’s journey to the heart of West Africa, where the rhythmic beats of the Djembe reverberate. This goblet-shaped drum is made of a single piece of wood and topped with animal skin. 

When played, it produces a range of sounds, from deep base tones to sharp, high slaps. Traditionally, this unique instrument has been central to ceremonies, stories, and celebrations, echoing the rich tapestry of African culture.

Wrapping up

These five unique instruments are proof of human creativity and our endless pursuit of new ways to produce beautiful sounds. They challenge the conventional boundaries of music and invite us to explore musical tunes, that redefine the essence of musical art.

If you really want to master these instruments then try training with a Soundbrenner metronome Pulse, which is the perfect gadget to get your tunes and rhythms flowing. Let your ears be your guide as you embark on an auditory adventure like no other.

PS. If you like this blog on unique instruments, we are sure our blog on the top 6 weird instruments will also intrigue you. Check it out here!

Thanks for reading our article on the top 5 most unique musical instruments! We at Soundbrenner are dedicated to helping musicians stay focused on what truly matters: their music. By creating innovative devices, such as Soundbrenner Pulse and Core, our goal is to deliver the best practice experience for musicians. Click here to find out more.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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