It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Well Mr. Bach, what if the instrument you’re working with doesn’t have keys? There are all sorts of instruments in the world, and most of them have keys or strings of some sort. But there are drums that lack both, and instruments like the Theremin that is uniquely bizarre in that to play the instrument, you do not touch the instrument. Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day encourages you to broaden your idea of what an instrument is.
History of Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day
The history of Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day is really just the history of the many types of instruments in the world today, and the less commonly known producers of that music. There are hundreds of instruments you’ve likely never heard of, things like the contrabass balalaika, easily the least unusual of the instruments you can research. It has a large triangular body and is either played with the fingers or leather plectrums.
Another odd type of instrument is the American Fotoplayer, a specific form of player piano that was designed to play out the sound effects during the 19th centuries silent movies. One of our personal favorite unique forms of instruments is the armonica, also known as the ‘bowl organ’ or ‘hydrocrystalophone’. It is an instrument comprised of glass bowls of varying sizes that produce different notes when friction is applied. Think of it as an automated crystal wine glass player. These are just some of the amazing Uncommon Instruments that you can learn about, and they come from a long history of musical tradition in various parts of the world.