Weird Sounds from Unique Musical Instruments

I have been to China, Thailand and other neighboring Asian countries. And it always attracts me when I hear weird sounds coming from weird instruments, or wave sound created by winds. I made my research for these kind of musical instrument and it was really amazing not only with the sound created, but for the inventors who produced these instruments.

1) Shamisen or Samisen, Japan

Shamisen or samisen or sangen, a three-stringed instrument played with a plectrum called “bachi wood”.

















Some plectrums are made of wood, but in modern days its made of hard-plastic.

2) Tenori-On, Japan

Tenori-on instrument

Tenori-on instrument







Tenori -On was created and designed by Toshio Iwai and Yu Nishiburi, Japanese artist of the Music and Human Interface Group, Yamaha Center for Advanced Sound Technology. The Tenori-On, is an electronic musical instrument, consisting of screen of a 16 by 16 grid of LED (light-emitting diode, a semi conductor light source) switch; in which any that can be deactivated, in various way, will create sounds.






3) Danso Musical Instrument, Korea

Danso, Korea music instrument

Danso, Korea music instrument













The danso instrument, also called Tanso a Korean flute, end-blown vertical made of bamboo flute used in Korean Folk music. It is also used for educational instrument in Korean primary schools.

4) Quena, traditional Flute of Andes

Quena, traditional flute used by Andes musicians, sometimes called qina or “Kena” in English. Normally in the key of G. The key of G is the lowest note, all the holes are covered and produced airy tone.

5) Duduk , Armenia

In Armenia, they have traditional instrument called “duduk or doudouk”, some calls it “tsiranapogh”, in Turkey it is called “ney”, “duduki” in Georgia, “balaban” in Azerbaijan, “namey-ney” in Iran, “duduka and dudka” in Russian and Ukraine.

6) Langeleik, Norway

The Norwegian folklore and traditional stringed instrument, a drone zither with single melody string, called Lengeleik or sometimes called “langleik”, has one to eight drone (harmonic or monophonic) sound affect or used as accompaniment, where chord and notes have continuous sound all throughout the piece or string sound. Below the melody string are the seven frets per octave, forming diatonic major scale, with A tune, although the major key of “Langeleik” have C major key.

7) Sitar Instrument, India

Sitar a stringed instrument commonly used in Hindustani classic music since the middle age. A sitar can have 21 to 23 strings.

Sitar Jivari maintains the specific tone of sitar by the Jivari shaping bridge.

8) Balalaika, Russia

Balalaika is a triangular bodied with three- string instrument of Russia. Balalaika has the higher pitch to the lowest pitch; the “Prima balalaika”, “Sekunda balalaika”, “Alto balalaika”, “Bass balalaika” and the “contrabass balalaika”, plucked by leather plectrums.

9) Sea Organ, Zadar, Croatia

In Zadar, Craotia an architectural experimental musical instrument, was created by Architect Nikola Basic, as part of redesigning the new Nova Riva coast, and was open to the public’s viewing on April 15th 2005. The musical instrument plays music by means of sea waves and tubes located under the set of large marble steps, creating random harmonic sound by sea waves.

On the shore of San Francisco Bay, California, a wave organ was built and created, with an acoustic sculpture and series of pipes installed, and interacts from the waves of the sea, and send sound to listeners i several stations, called “binaural booths “(a listening booth for visitors). The sound effects produces various sounds, but depending on the level of the tide, that includes rumbling, gurgle-like sounds, hisses, splash of water and other wave sounds created by the sea.

10) Blackpool High Tide Organ, UK

In 2002, the 15 meters tall tidal organ was constructed as part for the ” The Great Promenade Show”, a series of sculptures found in Blackpool’s New Promenade, United Kingdom.

11) Singing Tree, Lancashire, England

The singing-ringing tree is created in 2006, by 3 meter tall comprising pipes of galvanize steel which the device raises or lowers the warp threads on a loom, for energy of the wind to produce a slightly conflicting and entering and demonstrating choral sound. The wind-powered sculpture, singing-ringing tree, looks like a tree that stands at the mountain range of Pennine, overlooking Lancashire.

Eigen Harp, UK

John Lambert invented Eigen harp, a brand electronic instrument made by Eigenlabs, a company based in Devon, UK and was released in 2009 after eight years of developing the harp. Its made like bassoon-woodwind in the double reed family.

12) Ocarina, Latin America, China, Japan and Italy

Ocarina are an ancient flute-like wind instrument; these weird instruments are enclosed space with four to twelve finger-holes and a mouthpiece projecting from its body. Some Ocarinas are made of ceramic, but some use glass, plastic, wood, clay and metal materials.

13) Aeolian Wind Harp, Greece

Just like the Croatian Sea Organ, Aerolan Wind Harp depends on nature winds to produce music.

Cylindrical Harps

The cylindrical harps are usually hung or put on a stand, with curve wings and round-sound boxes, that allows omni-directorial winds playing their strings without any resetting the harp.

Grand Aerolan Harps

The grand aerolan harp or grand harp-ocean, stands on their own at 7.5 tall and is strung with forty-eight’ 5’2 strings, playing powerful harmonic tone and spectrum.

14) Glass Armonica, America

The glass armonica or glass harmonica, was invented in 1761, and became most famous musical instrument of the 18th century. The name “armonica” was taken from Italian word, that means harmony. The sound was produced by the vibration sound of the glasses and various frequency. Benjamin Franklin began to invent sound from the glass, by using soda-lime glass containing sodium or lead glass. And later on, he discovered that pure quartz (crystal) produced quality pitch, tone and sound.

15) Wine Glass Sound

The wine glass mini clear sound system are made of two red wine glasses but designed as speakers. The little wine-barrel had two channel-digital-amplifier, for the output of four-watts into each of the wine glasses, and the top serves as volume control.

Fill wine-glass with wine or water(with different level of liquid), then touch softly the glass wine mouth with finger tips, resonating sound from the glasses.

16) Tsabouna , Greece

Tsabouna is an inflatable this musical instrument made of goatskin with long-reed mouthpiece and can play six notes. The tsabouna looks like bagpipes.

The Scottish bagpipes model, a musical instrument with flexible bag, inflated by the use of tube or bellows, a double-reed melody pipe with four drone pipes or more, played by traditional Celtic regions.

17) Bonang, Java

bonang musical instrument, Java, Indonesia

bonang musical instrument, Java, Indonesia








Bonang are musical instruments usually use in Javanese gamelan. It is made of small collection of gorge or kettles or pots, placed in wooden frame (rancak), with horizontal strings with one or two rows wide.



18) Khong Mon, Thailand


The Khong mon and khong wong lek these weird instruments, where used commonly during the traditional Khong dance of Thailand.


The Khong Mon is a gong-circle musical instrument of Thailand, commonly used by the ancient Mon people of mainland Southeast Asia. The Khong Mon produced same range of pitch, as common as the Khong wong circle, but stands on the ground and the frame of khong mon with horse-shoe like shape that extends into the air.

19) Kaval, Azerbaijan

Kaval is made of chromatic-end-blown flute, use by traditonal musicians of Azerbaijan, Romania (Caval), Armenia, Albania, northern Greece, southern Serbia (Kaean), Kosova, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The kaval sounds melancholic, pleasant and warm and associated with mountain shepherds all over Anatolia and Balkans.

20) Erhu, China

Erhu musical instrument, Beijing, China

Erhu musical instrument, Beijing, China






Erhu or some call it Nanhu, a Chinese two-stringed instrument, usually used as solo instrument taht sounds like a Phyton howling.

Erhu, Chinese musical instrument

Erhu, Chinese musical instrument








21) Didgeredoo, Australia

Didgeridoo musical instrument was developed some 1,500 years ago in northern Australian aboriginal. The didgeridoo instrument still existed in the modern days and some part of the world. Sometimes described as “wooden trumpet” or drome pipe. The didgerido instrument was now classified as ‘brass aerophone’ by musicians.

22) Kora Instrument, Africa

The Kora instrument of west Africa, was made of huge calabash, cut in half with cow-skin covering, to produced acoustical wave of specific frequencies and recorded by bridge like guitar. The sounds resemble a harp-sound like and played in traditional style, like the flamenco music and delta blues guitar techniques.

Calabash instrument, made from Calabash gourd

Calabash instrument, made from Calabash gourd








Calabash Rattle, West Africa instruments

Calabash Rattle, West Africa instruments








Calabash or bottled- gourd, opo or squash or long melon, are grown not for food consumption, but for producing containers or make instruments like the Kora. Calabash was the first vine plant cultivated in the world.

23) Marimba Musical Instrument

A musical instrument that resembles like the xylophones.

24) Oud Instrument, Middle East

Oud are pear-shape like instruments that originated in the Middle East and serving as precursors for stringed-instruments, and famously played by European troubadours.

25) Leaf Music Instrument, Philippines

Levi Celerio, named National Artist of the Philippines in 1997. A song writer and famous leaf-player, in which he made a record for the Guinness Book of World Records. He was born in April 30, 1910 and died on April 2,2002 at the age of 91.


Let us know what you think about these weird instruments. Is it something you would consider playing and learning?

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