5 Instruments You’ve Probably Never Heard

5 Instruments You’ve Probably Never Heard

In honor of Funk Friday, we put together a list of some instruments you may not be familiar with, coupled with musicians that can really rock them. 

Without further ado, here are 5 instruments you’ve probably never heard:

Hang

This trippy percussion piece looks like a turtle and sounds like a dream. It was invented in Switzerland 20 years ago.

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to one, you probably remember it well. If you have never heard the hang, here’s a video of Czech artist Ani Mara doing it right. 

Theremin

This sci-fi electronic instrument dates back to 1920

Named after its creator, Leon Theremin, the Theremin consists of radio tubes that produce oscillations at two sound-wave frequencies above the range of hearing.

The notes the instrument produces are the audible frequency equal to the difference in the rates of vibration between the two sound waves.

Are you confused? Us too. 

But, it gets much, much weirder; click here to see how it’s played

Balalaika

This Russian string instrument is a member of the lute family and its name is really fun to say.

It sort of resembles a giant guitar, with a whales tail for a body. It produces a unique basslike sound. 

Check out this Led Zepplin Balalaika cover

Picasso Guitar

Inspired by the famous artist, the Picasso Harp Guitar is slightly different from traditional guitars.

It has 42 strings, 4 necks, and 2 sound holes.

The guitar was designed specifically for American Jazz musician Pat Metheny and built by Master Luthier Linda Manzer

Here is a video of Pat ripping it up on the Picasso. 

The Wintergatan

The Wintergatan Marble Machine is a hand-cranked music box loaded with instruments that are activated by a rotating circuit of 2,000 cascading steel marbles. 

As the marbles make drop they activate a vibraphone, bass, snare drum, kick drum, cymbal, and other instruments that play in a 32 bar loop. 

The machine is largely comprised of LEGO technic bands, funnels, tubes, and pulleys. 

You have to see this thing in action.