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Blog overview

Weird instruments: Our top 6 picks in the world of music

Rahima Khan, in Community news
Sep 20, 2023 | 5 min read

Imagine a world where the rhythm isn’t just carried by drums and guitars, but by instruments so bizarre that they redefine the very essence of music. Today, we embark on a journey into the realm of sonic oddities – the top 5 weird instruments that add a refreshing and unconventional twist to the symphony of sounds.

1. Cross-Grainger Kangaroo-Pouch Tone-Tool

Source: Omeka

Originating from the curious minds of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross, this weird instrument might leave you scratching your head initially. It gets its quirky name from its appearance which is like the pouch of a kangaroo. Musicians manipulate oscillations by shuffling rolls of perforated paper, which might remind you of an old-school computer. 

An amazing fusion of mechanical and musical genius, this instrument is proof of the saying – “Innovation knows no bounds.”

2. Playtron

In the realm of weird instruments, the Playtron by Soundbrenner stands out. This remarkable device has the uncanny ability to convert everyday objects into MIDI instruments using alligator clips. From fruits to metal, up to 16 conductive items can be turned into musical wonders with sub-millisecond latency, ensuring instant music creation.

Designed for all musicians, it’s light, durable construction means you can create tunes on the go—whether you’re in the studio or surrounded by nature. All it takes is a connection to your device and your favourite music app.

3. The hurdy-gurdy: Medieval roots with endless whimsy

Hurdy-gurdy weird instrument

Source: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The next weird instrument on our list takes us back in time to the medieval era with the Hurdy-Gurdy. Combining the elements of a violin and a mechanical crank, this instrument produces an enchanting blend of traditional and innovative sounds. 

As the crank is turned, a wheel rubs against the strings, creating melodies that evoke images of old-world landscapes and timeless tales.

4. Badgermin

Source: Nervous Squirrel

Hold onto your seats because this one’s truly wild! Imagine combining a badger with a theremin, and what do you get? A Badgermin! A true testament to the bizarre, the Badgermin produces ethereal electronic tunes while preserving the outward appearance of a badger. This weird instrument is a homage to the world of electronic music and the natural world.

5. The Otamatone: Quirky musical note-playing gadget

Otamatone music instrument

Source: Otamatone.jp

Transitioning to the whimsical, we encounter the Otamatone. Resembling a musical note with a face, this quirky and weird instrument is played by sliding a finger along its stem while squeezing its cheeks to control the pitch. 

Emitting sounds that range from humorous to surprisingly melodic, the Otamatone is a delightful fusion of toy and instrument that captures the hearts of both children and adults.

6. Hornucopian Dronepipe

Source: 3D Today

Last on our list of weird instruments is the avant-garde world of the Hornucopian Dronepipe. Now, this might seem straight out of a steampunk movie, but rest assured, its unusual looks match its otherworldly sounds. This 3D-printed piece, though a modern marvel, carries an air of ancient tribal calls.

Bottom line

In the vast ocean of musical instruments, it’s the unusual ones that often surprise us the most. Our top 6 picks barely scratch the surface of what’s out there, yet they show the innovative spirit of music creation.

For those diving into mastering these quirky instruments, we recommend the Soundbrenner Core a tool designed to perfect your rhythm and elevate your playing.

If you liked this blog, don’t forget to explore our blog on unique instruments. Who knows what other music wonders await? Happy playing!

Thanks for reading our article on the top 5 weirdest 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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