Unusual Musical Instruments From Around the World

Explore an extraordinary gallery of musical instruments ranging from giant flutes and sci-fi horns, to electronic badgers. Click through now!

This strange-looking instrument, with an appearance similar to an elongated violin, consists of one hand bowing the strings while pressing keys beneath its neck with its other. Its sound resembles that of a sitar.


The Toha is a remarkable musical instrument inspired by the social weaver birds of Southern Africa, with two resonators and 44 strings to create music in collaboration between two musicians facing each other and using their hands to play. Perfect for those wanting to compose their own compositions.

The Toha features both carbon fiber bottom resonators and gourd as top resonators, with 21 strings being stretched over bridges made of 3D printed hard resistant nylon that serve to secure their position on either side. Furthermore, its heavy aluminum base helps provide it with a low center of gravity.

Victor Gama created the toha as part of his musical instrument design work for new music. As both composer and designer of contemporary instruments for new music he has performed his large pieces at venues such as Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall; collaborated with Kronos Quartet on numerous unique projects; written music for dance, theater, and film as well as written his own music scores for performance purposes.

Contrabass Balalaika

The balalaika is a triangular stringed instrument with three strings and a fretted neck, similar to round-bodied instruments found in Central Asia such as domra and tanbur, possibly deriving its form from these instruments. First recorded in written documents during the early 1700s, peasants would often play it alongside free-lance minstrel friends known as skomorokhs who often parodied aspects of upper class society such as Tsar, Russian Orthodox Church membership etc.

A balalaika can be played using either fingers or a leather plectrum. Piccolo and secunda balalaikas typically utilize gut strings while bass and contrabass models may use nylon ones – the latter two varieties being tuned four steps higher for use with tremolo techniques.

Vasiliy Andreev made the balalaika famous during his Soviet folk music performances of the 1880s by creating new tuning patterns and standard construction practices for it. Being economical, loud, and easy to play made it popular with masses as large balalaika orchestras became prevalent at that time. Since then, it has remained part of Russian traditional folk music; many world-renowned Russian virtuosi perform it today.


The dulcimer is a fretted stringed instrument with a trapezoidal or hourglass soundboard, played by striking its strings with hammers or strumming with fingers. Most commonly associated with traditional music from Appalachian regions of North America, folk-rock and world genres have also adapted the instrument for use. As it cannot play chromatic scales it cannot play popular songs as well as traditional compositions that involve it.

The instrument’s strings are arranged in courses or pairs, with melody strings being tuned to a tonic note of G or D and drone strings tuned a fifth higher for harmony. This tuning allows a player to play traditional major scales by beginning on the lowest course by sounding G or D notes and ascending chords of lower tetrachord, often featuring G or D tonic notes as their starting points.

Roosebeck dulcimers feature capoing capabilities that enable musicians to effortlessly switch keys and modes without needing to retune their instrument – making it an incredibly flexible instrument and great choice for musicians who wish to explore music through new means. Their various sizes offer something similar to guitar-playing ability for expressive musicians looking for something new!


The harp has long been associated with love and romance, having featured in iconic musical soundtracks like Titanic, Rent, and Star Wars movies which I adore during my game hours of online poker on any of the sites described at https://centiment.io. Furthermore, classical musicians often prefer it over other instruments for playing classical pieces.

Harps come in various shapes and sizes. While a small one can be played using only a plectrum, larger models often require fingers instead. Each string’s pitch can be altered using pedals on the base of the instrument – each pedal controls an array of tuning discs that affect up to seven strings simultaneously.

The crown, or headpiece, of a harp is usually elaborate or simple and serves two important purposes: it prevents it from tipping over when not being used and houses its rod mechanism that connects pedals to tuning discs and pegs.

Persian Drum

A very large drum with a goatskin membrane and metal ringlets used for complex rhythms during ritual chanting and producing sound effects like rattles.

The Daf is a classical Persian frame drum with a rich tradition. Featuring ring snares all around its shell, making it particularly sensitive to movement, it is often performed alongside dancers as part of performances.

Sorna is an unusual percussion instrument with three strings, originally used for weddings, funerals and ceremonies in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Provinces. Now commonly featured as part of orchestral music. It can be heard during weddings, funerals and other ceremonies where a Sorna may be part of orchestral music performance.

The Tanbur is an ancient stringed musical instrument played with a bow. According to ancient inscriptions and images found within religious ceremonies, its usage may include playing this distinct instrument with its pear-shaped body and long neck. Its rich harmonic sound produces numerous notes and tones for an enjoyable listening experience.


The cimbalom is the Hungarian member of the struck chordophone family of instruments, alongside such staples as the hackbrett (Germany/Switzerland), hammered dulcimer (USA), santur (India/Iran) and yangqin (China). Though all use similar techniques – players strike metal strings using beaters – mastering one is particularly challenging with regard to mastering all four instruments at the same time; but with its distinctive features the cimbalom stands out among its relatives when it comes to mastering its mastering.

Jozsef Schunda introduced his large four-legged cimbalom, similar to that of a small piano and standing on four legs, during the 1870s and became popular throughout Hungary. While conventional cymbals typically consist of several groups of tuned strings tuned to unison pitch, concert cimbaloms offer full chromatic range with four full octaves covered chromatically by their pedal mechanism allowing players to dampen or sustain strings simply by pressing on or off another pedal with their foot.

The cimbalom has become an indispensable instrument in numerous movie and TV scores, from Hans Zimmer’s Sherlok Holmes to Howard Shore’s The Black Stallion. Additionally, its presence has been essential in some major orchestral compositions, including Bela Bartok’s Violin Rhapsody No. 1. Ultimately, its versatility enables it to add tremendous soundscapes ranging from dramatic tension to epic grandeur in any orchestral work.


The Ocarina is one of the more iconic instruments featured in The Legend of Zelda series. It can be found in A Link to the Past as well as Link’s Awakening and The Minish Cap, with players using this item to play special songs that summon birds that transport them between different locations and serve other mystical functions in these games such as helping defeat certain enemies.

Ocarinas are vessel duct-flute aerophones used across cultures worldwide. In this gallery are European-style instruments from Europe; others come from America, Russia and Colombia and vary depending on number of holes, hole size and pitch vocabularies; they may also be blown either into a duct or along the edges for “rim-blown ocarinas.”

Ocarinas have a rich history that dates back 12,000 years. Ocarinas were an essential component of ancient ceremonies and an essential tool for nobility; not only were they used in palaces; ocarinas could even be found as part of pastoral lifestyles! Ocarinas could even be found among both Mayan and Aztec cultures and were sometimes even designed in the shape of animals or birds!