Weird & Wonderful Musical Instruments

Did you learn an instrument growing up?


Statistically speaking, it was probably one of the ‘Big 5’- the most popular instruments for young children learning to play (being Piano, Guitar, drum kit, Violin or Voice).


This month, your friends at Music Mart will walk you through some of the most bizarre and unique instruments ever created- some of them are beautiful, truly incredible brilliant works of engineering, and some are, well, downright ridiculous. In any case, they are interesting. Here they are:


The Wheelharp.

If you’re a true fan of handcrafted musical classics, check out the Wheelharp. Despite its antique look, it’s a new instrument developed by Jon Jones & Sons. The Wheelharp gives you the ability to orchestrate a full chromatic scale of sixty-one actual bowed strings. It’s like having an actual string orchestra at your fingertips. The instrument’s design is truly breathtaking and its complex bowels are equipped with a damper system and an electronic pickup system to help you create enchanting musical masterpieces.


The sound created from the Wheelharp is eerie, and a little unnerving. This instrument is perfect for developing intensity in film scenes and other orchestral uses.  Bizarre!



The Singing Ringing Tree.

It’s more of a fixed sculpture than an instrument but then again, so are windpipes, kind of. The massive musical monument is situated at Crown Point above the town of Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom. Built by artists Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, it was completed in 2006. It’s probably the best and most famous piece of a series called “Panopticons” in the Lancashire Pennine Hills.


 Its sound is truly haunting, both in the good and the creepy sense! Have a look for yourself here!


The American Fotoplayer. 

Have always wanted to be part of a band but don’t know a single musician? The American Fotoplayer is the instrument for you! Developed by the American Fotoplayer Company between the years of 1912 and 1925, this amazing instrument was specifically designed to provide music and sound effects for silent movies. The beauty of this gigantic and complex piece of musical equipment is that playing it requires no musical skill whatsoever. You’re basically pulling chords, pushing buttons and pressing pedals. An electric motor, an air pump, and some piano rolls do the rest.


The Glass Armonica.

The Glass Armonica is one of those things that came out of a dream. Invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761, it’s capable of producing angelic sounds you’ve heard only from water tuned wine glasses. And that’s exactly what the Glass Armonica consists of, except the arrangement is much more convenient for playing. Built from custom-blown rotating wine glasses nested inside of each other, this amazing instrument allows for more than two glasses to be played at the same time. In terms of how it’s played, it works much like a piano. Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from the Nutcracker is one of the best ways to enjoy one of Franklin’s favourite inventions.



Love salad? Love music? We do too!


The Nan brothers from Beijing have combined the two by making musical instruments out of vegetables. Their father who is a music teacher has encouraged them to study music and a few years ago he has come up with the idea of fashioning instruments from potatoes, pumpkins and basically anything you can drill a hole in.



For all music-related inquiries, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Music Mart today!