Unusual / Unique Musical Instruments

Posted: 2/7/2013 8:27:17 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

Ran across Jay Wasco's site a while back when searching for alternative instrument ideas.

Here's his "Fractal Harp":

His "Egotar":

And his "Swiss Army Bass":

Tons more here:


I really like to see this kind of practical enthusiasm when it comes to new & different musical controller ideas.

Posted: 2/7/2013 9:00:20 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

The "Rainboard" isomorphic keyboard:

No velocity control, but I like the nice lighting job!  More here:


Posted: 2/7/2013 9:38:10 PM
RS Theremin

From: 60 mi. N of San Diego CA

Joined: 2/15/2005

Very nice dewster, I have carried on email exchanges with builders over the years on using color organ circuits with theremins. I myself have never seen anyone capitalize on the concept, then I don't visit YouTube )-: On my theremin design antenna the jewel at the top was to be lit by a fiber optic as it is a hallow core right up to the glass. The light pipes I have purchased are too small to capture any significant super bright LED light. Maybe I should try a 1/4" clear acrylic rod to get the light up there.

If I was to design I would like to use seven super bright white LED's with color filters to embrace the moods of play using the seven colors of the rainbow. They should be driven by both pitch and volume for full affect.

Theremin color organ applications would be a fun new direction for me. Remember those big speaker boxes with plexiglass and blinking Christmas lights we had in our hippie days? You may not be old enough but I am sure they had them in Canada, no wait he was hanging out down here in the 60's & 70's... pass the bong! (-'


Posted: 2/8/2013 3:13:40 PM

From: Northern NJ, USA

Joined: 2/17/2012

RS, you might try a tri-color LED through a plexiglas rod to fire up that jewel.  There are inexpensive rods on eBay (I bought some last year) and bright tri-color LEDs are quite inexpensive with the advent of video billboards.

I'm unfortunately old enough to remember those color organ light boxes:

Posted: 2/26/2013 3:18:53 PM

From: Calgary, AB, Canada

Joined: 2/4/2013

The website that I have always gone to for amazingly cool and different musical instruments is:


They have so many weird and wonderful instruments, from do-it-yourself to professional quality.

Definitely check it out if that sort of thing interests you!

Posted: 9/28/2013 5:49:16 AM

From: Toronto, Ontario

Joined: 9/28/2013

Not really that unusual, but I do play an electric violin. 

The musical saw might be fun to learn. Or the Octobass. That's a standup bass so large it requires two musicians to play. One to control the massive bow and one to use a complicated system of levers & pedals to stop the strings. 

Posted: 11/8/2013 4:47:05 PM

Joined: 1/14/2011

How about Irish bagpipes built from plumbing supplies that are actually concert quality?


Posted: 11/8/2013 8:08:41 PM

From: Canada

Joined: 8/1/2008

Here is a video of a kid playing CAOINEADH CU CHULAINN on his newly made David Daye "plumbing supply" uilleann pipes. The pipes sound great. This is VERY impressive for someone his age who has only been playing for a few weeks. He is a very musical boy!!





Here is the wonderful Davy Spillane playing the same piece. He is also a very musical boy!!





This piece would be really beautiful on the theremin.....hmmmmmmmmm

Posted: 11/8/2013 8:57:34 PM
Jesper Pedersen

From: Iceland

Joined: 3/10/2012

Icelandic visual artist and instrument designer Halldór Úlfarsson has been developing an instrument he calls the Halldorophone (http://www.halldorulfarsson.info/halldorophonesIn its current form the instrument is an electro-acoustic string instrument loosely based around a cello (four strings tuned in fifths like a cello). The sound of each string can be fed back through the body of the instrument in a controlled manner creating a kind of "endless bow" type feed-back instrument: http://youtu.be/uo4Jq-_tysc

Posted: 11/9/2013 3:45:53 PM

From: Theremin Motherland

Joined: 11/13/2005

My homemade barrel organ:

This is an electroacoustic muscle-powered instrument. The sample can be hear there:

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