10 Extraordinary Instruments
1. The Largest Drumkit
Dr. Mark Temperato made a drumkit that comprises 340 pieces. For that he proudly holds the world record. He doesn’t sit in front of his drumkit but inside of it as even above and behind him there is nothing but drums, percussion and cymbals. For that a swivel chair is really starting to make sense.
2. The Subcontrabass Saxophone
Come on! Are you kidding me? The Brazilian Instrument maker J’Elle Stainer manufactured this baby. It is about 2.8 metres tall (just over 9 feet) and weighs around 34 kg (74.9 lbs). The lowest note the subcontrabass saxophone can produce is the low Bb with approximately 29 Hz. That note is slightly hearable and has a wavelength of almost 12 meters. Check out my wavelength – frequency table to find out more hertz wavelength and frequencies.
3. The Subcontrabass Recorder
I hope you like the big guys because here comes another one: The subcontrabass recorder. You need a really high ceiling to build up this instrument. What’s funny is that when you talk about a recorder people normally think of the small soprano recorder that pupils learn to play in first grade. In contrast to that this guy is huge but still pretty playable.
4. The Octobass
It is not the biggest string instrument there is but probably the largest that you can play alone. Really interesting are the claps with which you change the pitch of the strings. As you can see you need to be big to play the octobass.
5. The Worlds Biggest Pipe Organ
Build into a shopping mall this grown up pipe organ counts 28,400 pipes. Twenty-eight thousand four hundredpipes think about it. I mean, dafuq! Who comes up with all that. The pipes are spread over seven different floors. That’s what you need today. 28,400 pipes spread over seven floors to bring people close to classical music and classical instruments: Don’t forget to place then into a shopping mall.
6. The Theremin
Okay, enough of the big guys for now. The theremin is an electrical instrument invented in 1919 by the Russian Law Termen. It is one of the few instruments that can be played without contact which gives the instrumentalist unique freedom in expression and pitch.
7. The Glass Harp and the Glass Armonica
These two Instruments make use of the same sounding body: The glass. As a kid we often try to make a whine glass sound but these two guys really mastered this skill. On Roberttiso’s Website he writes that in order to create enough friction with your fingertips you have to wash them carefully with soap before playing.
8. The Musical Saw
In my eyes the musical saw is an extraordinary instrument because it is unexpected, free and fun to watch. Who thinks that you can play ‘Ave Maria’ on a saw with a bow. The performer of this piece also had an appearance at the television show Britain Got Talent. Check it out.
9. The Vibraband
When I saw this video for the first time I was really stunned by the sound and volume of this small rubber band. It sounds like a fucking jazz trumpet. In addition to that Stan Wood performs with great virtuosity on this small instrument.
10. The Waterphone
Oh, that’s where all the scary sounds in horror movies come from. I want one of them! I really like how swirling water changes the pitch of played tone. Also, the metallic body adds reverb to the sound just like a plate reverb. The Waterphone: 1000$ and you are in.
If you know more extraordinary instruments please share in the comments below.