MOST Unique Instruments Ever Made

8 months ago
Life would be very dull without music, and it has the ability to bring everyone together. It helps us to express happiness, sadness and a plethora of other emotions. Over the course of time, people have created the most incredible and unusual instruments, and today we’re going to have a look at just a few of them.

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11 - Qanun…
This beauty is an ancient Middle Eastern instrument that was played from around 950 AD. The base is made from wood and it comes with 74 to 81 strings. The instrument is placed on one’s lap and the strings are plucked with picks or fingernails. The word Qanun comes from the Greek word Canon, meaning rule… as this instrument would set the tone for the other instruments in an ensemble.

10 - Cajón…
From a Qanon to a cajón, this wooden instrument was created by African slaves in Peru. The one side of the box has a hole and the other side is made from slightly thinner wood. The thin surface of the instrument is tapped as standard, but other sounds are created by tapping elsewhere on the box.

9 - Zeusaphone…
This insane looking instrument is a type of plasma speaker that is a kind of solid state Tesla coil that’s been modified to emit musical tones by modulating its spark output. The sound you’ll hear is a low fidelity square wave very much like an analog synthesizer.

8 - Musical Road…
Japan can thank the Hokkaido industrial research institute for their very unusual instrument, a musical road. They carved thousands of grooves in the road so that when vehicles drove over the road, they would play a tune. The road was created by Mr. Shinoda who says the narrower the grooves the higher the pitch and vice versa. You can only hear the music if you drive over at a certain speed, and there are 3 places in Japan where you can enjoy the melody roads, each playing a different song.

7 - Singing Ringing Tree…
There is an incredible sculpture over in East Lancashire, England, that is known as the Singing Ringing Tree. It was designed by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu and is made up of steel pipes of different lengths placed in various positions. When the wind whips through and past this structure, it makes the most eerie noises! There also used to be a kid series from the late 60’s, early 70’s called the Singing Ringing Tree, which was said to be just as eerie as this structure itself.

6 - Atlantic City Convention Hall Organ…
This massive pipe organ sits in the main auditorium of the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The hall actually forms part of the organ itself and the hall seats 41,000 people. The organ is made up of 33,112 pipes and if you were to take a tour of the entire organ, it would take you 4.5-hours!

5 - The Vegetable Orchestra…
It’s not just one instrument that makes this entry unique, but all of them! The Vegetable Orchestra literally performs with instruments made from fresh vegetables. Founded in 1998, this Viennese ensemble use whatever veggies are in season, which means their sound changes all the time. Depending on the type of veggie available, you could hear a bit of contemporary music, jazz, house and even electronic.

4 - The cat piano…
Yep, you heard correctly… The Cat Piano! These days, this would of course never ever be considered, but in the 17th century, well things were a little different. A Jesuit scholar named Athanasius Kircher thought up this bizarre instrument. Rows of boxes with a cat in each box…. Ok, at least you know the cats were happy, but not for long, because what his thoughts were was to take the cats tails and insert them into narrow sheaths which were then pricked by hammers. The cats would cry out in pain, and the tone would differ according to each cat. Apparently, the purpose of this macabre instrument was to lift the spirit of the melancholy prince. Happy to say there is no historic evidence that the instrument was actually created, but it’s still a bizarre thing to think of, isn’t it?

3 - Janko keyboard…
This looks like a checkerboard gone wrong. It was designed by Paul von Jankó, and in a nutshell, was meant to make it possible for pianists to play pieces which wouldn’t be possible on a regular keyboard. It may look more challenging to play, but it’s easier when changing octaves, as the player only needs to move their hands up or down, and not learn new fingerings.

2 - Wired Fence…
In this case, basically any wired fence becomes a musical instrument for “fencologist”, Jon Rose. He’s an Australian musician that plays music on any type of fence available. He uses a bow to perform, and he’s been doing so for over 30-years!


MOST Unique Instruments Ever Made

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