6 Strangest Musical Instruments


There is a great variety of musical instruments in the world, and we are not even familiar with a significant number of those. Different instruments have found their place in different cultures, so they might seem somewhat strange to anyone who’s from another region or cultural background. In some cases, the very instrument is the weird phenomenon, and in others, it’s just about the way it is played. We have prepared a list of six weirdest instruments.

6. Zeusaphone Or Thoramin

Tesla coil, named after gods Zeus and Thor, produces various tones, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as musical lighting. When electrical charge builds up by Tesla coils it reaches an extremely high level, they discharge through the air, thus creating the sound. If Tesla coil is connected to a musical instrument, it becomes a plasma speaker.


5. Wintergatan Marble Machine

Wintergatan, a Swedish folktronica band, spent 14 months designing and building this instrument, which looks more like a rather complex machine. It consists of wheels, gears, switches and, the most important component – marbles, the ones that actually create the sound. There is a series of videos on YouTube that show how exactly this instrument was built.


4. Vegetable Orchestra

Believe it or not, as the name of the orchestra itself suggests, its members use actual vegetables to create music. That’s right, there are carrots, pumpkins (used as drums) and peppers (used as horns) among this orchestra’s ‘musical instruments.’ Vegetable Orchestra was founded in 1998 in Vienna. The members have the freedom of choosing the vegetables they want when designing an instrument, and all the leftovers are later used for making a vegetable soup for the audience.


3. Pyrophone

Pyrophone was invented in 1873 by Frederic Kastner and today it is also known as the fire organ or the explosion organ. This musical instrument uses different forms of rapid combustion (e.g. explosions) so as to create the sound. A flame in the tube can be used to create a note, or to turn it on or off. Even though Kastner put a lot of effort in creating this instrument, it did not pay off, as it never became popular.


2. Beer Bottle Organ

The idea of inventing beer bottle organ was first born in 1798 when a church congregation on Helgoland Island wanted to build an organ which would not be affected by weather conditions. So, the instrument builder came up with the idea of using glass bottles. The beer bottle organ uses beer bottles, but the beer itself has to be replaced with glycerol. That way there is no risk of evaporation changing the created sound.

1. Floor Buffer, Vacuum Cleaners, Rifles

A Grand, Grand Overture is a special piece by composer Malcolm Arnold which features three vacuum cleaners, four rifles, and a floor polisher among a number of musical instruments. Conductor Jiri Belohlavek, Jennifer Pike (violinist) and Stephen Hough (pianist) played the vacuum cleaners, while the floor polisher was played by Sir David Attenborough.