7 Unconventional Music Instruments from Around the World


The world of music is a vast one, with a wide variety of tastes. The world is also very culturally diverse and allows for innovation based on circumstances in the realm of entertainment and pleasure. While some countries have had conventional instruments like guitars or violins, others have created some unusual instruments to please their paradigm of what sounds angelic. These seven instruments will change the way you see music, and who knows, you might even fall in love with one of them!

1. Hang

Image from YouTube

While some people will refer to this as a hang drum, its inventors in Bern, Switzerland strongly dislike that and consider it an instrument on its own. It is made out of steel sheets made to look like a wide bowl and contains about nine notes in total that create a metallic but melodic sound.

2. The Balalaika

Image from Learn Russian in the EU

While it looks like an empanada with strings, the balalaika is actually a Russian stringed instrument that is much more akin to the violin than the guitar. There are orchestras solely comprised of the different balalaikas. Think of the different variations of the violin (viola, cello, double bass...etc.) and now replace the violin with a balalaika.

3. The Glass Harmonica

Image from YouTube

While not resembling the structure or shape of a harmonica, the glass harmonica will create a series of sounds that are both eerie and beautiful. A series of glass bowls differing in size are placed on a rotating column and the music is made through friction with the bowls. As odd as it sounds in word form, it’s actually very beautiful to hear.

4. Hydraulophone

Image from Steve Mann

This seems like an extremely fun instrument to play, although it looks incredibly difficult. The basic premise is that it is played with direct contact with water (or other fluids) and it ends up creating a sound that is similar to an old church organ. If you hear it being played, you would never imagine that water would be the source.

5. Theremin

Image from YouTube

One of the more famous and yet equally odd instruments is the Theremin; an electronic instrument with the potential to blow the minds of anyone who has never seen it. Created by a Soviet inventor and patented in 1928, it sounds like a talented whale with an excellent voice auditioning for The Voice.

6. Zeusaphone

Image from Pinterest

This instrument is an earthly instrument; although it harnesses the wrath of nature to create its sounds. It produces the sound of little electronic shocks but is modulated so that every shock holds a tone; it’s really interesting to listen to but so much more interesting to watch.

7. Didgeridoo

Image from Guadua Bamboo

This Australian aboriginal instrument is unlike any one particular instrument; it sounds as if a trombone or oboe were percussion instruments as well. Australian native Xavier Rudd is known for bringing the instrument into mainstream culture in his albums.

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