You may know of the harmonica, but have you seen or played a glass armonica? While musical instruments like the guitar and piano are loved around the world, there are many others that are so unique and bizarre, they deserve a second look.
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Here are 5 unique ones you would need to see to believe:
1. Glass Armonica
If you’ve ever touched a spoon to a glass and heard a pleasant tinkling sound, you likely have a general idea of what the glass armonica sounds like. The instrument comprises a series of glass bowls in different sizes, and the sound is produced by the musician rubbing their fingers over the glass. This unique instrument is the invention of Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US.
It’s not a verb – the hang or hang drum is made of two sheets of steel, and features various dents that are purposely hammered into it. When the musician taps the dents, they create specific notes.
This instrument has Turkish origins and is a fairly recent invention. A completely acoustic instrument, its coiled strings produce vibrations when played; the vibrations then turn into sound in the membranes of the attached drums. The unique sound is hypnotic and resonant, and feels completely new to listening ears.
Working like a pipe organ, the pyrophone has long, meticulously tuned tubes that resonate at specific frequencies. Burners are used for rapid combustion within the tubes – the vibration from the flames produced in the instrument, acts as a unique oscillator that creates deep, rich sounds.
Also known as the totem harp, the instrument was created by Angolan composer Victor Gama. Inspired by the nests of an extinct species of Angolan birds, the instrument was created with the intention of evoking their spirit. Two musicians can play a toha simultaneously.