Since the advent of electronic instruments and the need by composers to produce unique and new sounds, many unusual instruments have been invented or restored to life. This is a list of the ten most bizarre instruments.
The Aeolian Harp is a musical instrument that is “played” by the wind. It is named for Aeolus, the ancient Greek god of the wind. Aeolian harps were very popular as household instruments during the Romantic Era, and are still hand-crafted today. Some are now made in the form of monumental metal sound sculptures located on the roof of a building or a windy hilltop. The clip is a contemporary version – with a wind turbine provided the rhythm. The constant unchanging sound in the background is the Aeolian harp.
The Ondes Martenot is an early electronic musical instrument with a keyboard and slide, invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot and originally very similar in sound to the Theremin. The sonic capabilities of the instrument were subsequently expanded by the addition of filter banks and switchable loudspeakers. The instrument is especially known for its eerie wavering notes produced by the thermionic valves that produce oscillating frequencies. The ondes Martenot has been used by many composers, most notably Olivier Messiaen.
The Theremin is one of the earliest fully electronic musical instruments. It was invented by Russian inventor Léon Theremin in 1919, and it is unique in that it was the first musical instrument designed to be played without being touched. It consists of two radio frequency oscillators and two metal antennas. The electric signals from the theremin are amplified and sent to a loudspeaker.
The Glass Armonica
The glass harmonica, also known as glass armonica, ‘”hydrocrystalophone” or simply armonica (derived from “armonia”, the Italian word for harmony) is a type of musical instrument that uses a series of glass bowls or goblets graduated in size to produce musical tones by means of friction, making it both a crystallophone and a friction idiophone). This mechanical version was invented by Benjamin Franklin.
The gravikord is an electric double harp invented and patented by Robert Grawi in 1986. It is modeled after the 21 string West African kora. It is made of welded stainless steel tubing, with 24 nylon strings but no resonating gourd or skin. The bridge is a synthetic material designed very differently from the kora and the range of pitches is greater. While the hands are in a more ergonomic and natural position to the strings, the playing technique is similar to that of the kora: the player plucks the strings with the thumb and index finger of each hand.
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To quote Jimi Hendrix:
Music doesn't lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.One of the best ways to capture the benefits of music is through singing. It allows you to truly feel the song with your mind, body, and soul.
Research has shown singing can improve your health, increase happiness and even extend your life!
No matter who or where you are, you can reap the many benefits of music by singing along to some tunes! Sing wherever you are.
Singing is even good for your brain and can make you feel high. It releases endorphins, hormones that produce pleasure, simultaneous to oxytocin, hormones that diminish stress and anxiety.
Oxytocin also decreases feelings of depression and loneliness, making us feel more connected with the world, which is precisely why singing with other people feels even better!
A study done by scientists at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found people who sing together become so connected they exhibit synchronized heartbeats.
Anyone who has ever been in choir can attest to this. When the magical sound of several people singing together is created, there is an unexplained unity between those singing.
Singing also requires deep concentration on breathing, which works major muscle groups in the upper body and is great for both lung and cardiovascular health.
Björn Vickhoff, the leader of the study, stated:
Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these. It gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.
Therefore, one could make the argument that singing is better for you than doing yoga!
Research has also proven that singing produces lower levels of cortisol, reducing stress while improving our immune systems.
Lastly, a joint study from Harvard and Yale Universities in 2008 found singing increases life expectancy. If you want to feel less stressed, become happier, and live longer: Start singing!