7 Weird, Odd & Interesting Musical Instruments…& More

weird musical instruments

Music has been an expressive art form for centuries, with new instruments continuously adding to its diversity. While some instruments are well-known, others are downright weird and are sure to pique your curiosity. 

I’m not just talking about the kazoo or triangle, but really weird musical instruments that you may not have even heard of yet. These weird instruments prove that there is no limit to human creativity and that even the strangest ideas can produce beautiful results. In this article, we will explore some of the most interesting and unusual musical instruments from around the world that you probably didn’t know existed. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the wonders of music!

1. The Theremin

Have you ever heard of the theremin? It’s a pretty cool electronic instrument that you play without even touching it! This unique instrument was invented in the early 1900s by a Russian physicist named Leon Theremin. You play the theremin by moving your hands around two antennas that control the pitch and volume of the sound. The theremin is known for its unique and haunting sound and has been used in many genres of music, including classical, jazz, and even rock. 

Despite its uniqueness, the theremin hasn’t gained as much popularity as other instruments, which is a shame. But hey, maybe you could be the one to change that! Imagine the thrill of creating music just by moving your hands in the air. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience that is sure to leave both you and your audience amazed. 

MicroKits Theremin Electronics Kit | Educational Music STEAM/STEM for Kids or Adults | No Tools Needed Easy to Build Breadboard Kit
  • [YOUR OWN THEREMIN] This is your chance to build your own invention. With your MicroKits theremin, you can create music and sound by waving your hands around electric fields!
  • [LEARN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING] Discover the physics of electrical capacitance and practice working with real electronic parts.
  • [EASY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS] Colorful 22 page instructional booklet. Build step by step, with breaks to check your work and learn how your circuit works.
  • [NO TOOLS NEEDED] Everything you need is in the box. Start creating electronics without having to learn soldering, simply place parts in the breadboard to connect. Yes, batteries included too!
  • [FROM BEGINNER TO INVENTOR] Start your journey with MicroKits! MicroKits are great as science kits for kids, diy electronics projects for teens, or hobby kits for adults.

If you’re interested in music history, the theremin is definitely worth learning more about. Who knows, it could even inspire you to create your own unique sound!

2. Ondes Martenot

The Ondes Martenot is a one-of-a-kind electronic musical instrument created in the early 20th century by French musician Maurice Martenot. Incredibly unique, this instrument produces sound through pressing keys and moving a ring along a wire to create an array of distinct sounds. Many composers have used this beauty in various film scores and electronic music pieces due to its unmatched, one-of-a-kind sound. 

The Ondes Martenot has been used by musicians and composers such as Olivier Messiaen and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood. Not only is it a fascinating instrument, but it also requires skill and precision to play. Just like anything worth pursuing in life, it takes dedication to master. So if you’re looking for a new challenge or a different type of sound to add to your music, consider this one. 

If you’re a music lover, you should definitely consider giving the ondes Martenot a listen.

3. Eigenharp

Have you ever heard of an Eigenharp? It is a futuristic-looking electronic instrument design & developed in the UK in 2009. With a series of keys, buttons, and strips, you can create a wide range of experimental and electronic music — it’s perfect for music experimentation!

The Eigenharp is a fascinating music instrument that combines the performance capabilities of several instruments into one. With its unique design and technology, the Eigenharp empowers musicians to express themselves in ways never before possible. Imagine being able to play the drums, keyboard, guitar, and even wind instruments all from one instrument. The possibilities are endless, and that’s what makes the Eigenharp so exciting. It’s no wonder that musicians all around the world are experimenting with it and incorporating it into their performances.

If you’re a musician looking to push the boundaries and explore new sounds, the Eigenharp might just be the instrument for you.

4. Reactable

Did you know that the Reactable, an electronic instrument created in Spain in 2003, allows you to move table-top blocks to create different sounds? It has been used in electronic, experimental, and ambient music.  

Have you ever seen a Reactable in action? It’s the kind of music technology that’ll make you feel like you’ve entered a whole new universe. The name itself might sound a little intimidating, but trust me, it’s worth it. With a Reactable, you can create your own unique, electronic music by manipulating objects on a tabletop surface. It’s like having a personal DJ set up right in front of you. It’s a fun, interactive way to explore the possibilities of music creation. 

5. Waterphone

Have you ever heard of a waterphone? If not, let me introduce you to one of the most unique musical instruments out there! It looks like something out of a science fiction movie, with its metal rods and water-filled chambers. But the sound it produces is nothing short of mesmerizing.

Waterphone Horror Sound Percussion Theremin Weird Movie Music Luxury Gold Handmade Unusual Instrument
  • Weird Sound. The special handmade instrument was created to produce unusual, horror sound. The unique instrument creates the horror sounds in movie, which might lead the audience or listeners into a nervous, trembling mood.
  • Gold Classic Design. The whole waterphone is made of gold alloy, with total 30 sticks around. The gold appearance is combined the mystery element of Faraon in Eygpt.
  • Play The Instrument. you can use your bare hands, knock the spikes with your fingers or with mallets, or finally, use a bow which significantly enhances the spectrum of sounds. To create incredible "wah-wah" effect just pour some water inside the waterphone and listen how it talks to you when you play it!
  • Handmade Instrument. Each waterphone was created as a fantastic instrument, and more than that, a brilliant collection.
  • Instrument for Hobbyists. If you are a movie maker or music producer, you can add the horror sound in your work with it.

The waterphone’s eerie, haunting tones are perfect for creating tension and suspense in film scores and video game soundtracks. You don’t have to be a professional musician to experiment with this instrument. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to explore new sounds. 

6. Haken Continuum

If you’re a musician looking to add some serious flair to your shows, look no further than the Haken Continuum. This futuristic-looking instrument is a dream come true for any electronic musician looking to push boundaries and create something totally unique. The Continuum allows for an incredibly expressive playing style, with its touch-sensitive playing surface that responds to even the slightest movements. You can create sounds that would be impossible with any other instrument, and it brings a level of innovation and creativity to your live performances that is sure to leave your audience absolutely wowed. 

7. Otamatone

The Otamatone is an adorably quirky musical instrument that was developed in Japan, providing a fun and unique sound. Its cute, toy-like appearance and versatile notes make it perfect for adding a pop of character to your musical arrangements, in genres such as pop and rock.
As one of the most unique instruments created, it’s worth adding to your collection to elevate your sound and stand out from other musicians. 

Otamatone Japanese Electronic Musical Instrument Portable Music Synthesizer from Japan by Maywa Denki Studio Award Winning, Educational Fun Gift for Children, Teens & Adults - Black
  • [JAPAN’S FAVORITE] - One of Japan's most loved musical instrument portable synthesizer toy with more than 30 designs, sold globally, and enjoyed by all ages.
  • FUN & EASY TO PLAY - Touch or Slide Your Fingers Along The Stem to Vary The Pitch and Squeeze The Cheeks for Vibrato. Play in a low, medium, or high pitch - get together with friends and create a harmony!
  • UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY - Express yourself and explore new musical possibilities by creating your very own sounds! Have fun singing and playing along with family and friends at home or outdoors - the lightweight, portable Otamatone is the perfect instrument to bring camping to accompany your campfire singalongs!
  • GREAT FOR ALL AGES - Kids, teens, and adults all love the Otamatone! Whether you’re brand new to music or an expert musician, the Otamatone offers a fun, silly new way to make music!
  • QUICK AND EASY SETUP - AAA Batteries ×3 Operated (Battery NOT included). Simply turn it on, and you're ready to play! Its compact size (Approx 10.6" or 27 cm) makes it perfect for travel and music on the move!

The Otamatone is so simple and intuitive that it’s impossible to not have a good time making music with it. 

Weird Musical Instruments | Honorable Mentions


When it comes to weird and odd musical instruments, the Stylophone is a true gem. Invented in 1967 by Brian Jarvis, the Stylophone is an electronic handheld instrument that is played with a stylus. It has a small metal keyboard that produces a unique sound when the stylus is used to touch the keys. The Stylophone became popular in the 1970s, thanks to artists like David Bowie and Kraftwerk, who used the instrument in their music. Today, the Stylophone has been revived and is still used by musicians around the world.

One of the unique features of the Stylophone is its portability. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket, making it easy to take with you on the go. It also has a built-in speaker, so you can play it without needing any additional equipment. The sound produced by the Stylophone is a bit hard to describe. It has a distinctive “buzzing” quality that is unlike anything else. The tone can be adjusted using a tuning knob, which allows you to create a variety of sounds. Despite its simplicity, the Stylophone has been used in various genres of music. From rock to electronic to experimental, the Stylophone has found its way into countless songs over the years.

Stylophone The Original Pocket Electronic Synthesizer
  • Miniature stylus operated synthesizer is a recreation of the 1967 classic.
  • 3 Octaves. Optional vibrato effect.
  • Tuning knob on bottom allows you tune the Stylophone or do pitch-bend effects.
  • Built in speaker with volume control, Optional headphone jack.
  • Line Out (3.5mm).

Overall, the Stylophone is a weird, odd, and interesting musical instrument that deserves recognition for its unique sound and portability. 

Jaw Harp

The Jaw Harp, also known as the Jew’s Harp or Mouth Harp, is a small musical instrument that is played by plucking a metal reed with the mouth. It has a distinctive twangy sound that is instantly recognizable. The Jaw Harp has been used in various genres of music, including folk, blues, and even rock. It’s a simple instrument that can be played by anyone, regardless of their musical experience. One of the unique things about the Jaw Harp is its design. It consists of a metal frame with a flexible tongue that vibrates when plucked. The player holds the frame against their teeth and plucks the tongue with their finger to create different sounds.

Altay Jew's Harp for Beginners: P.Potkin's Komus +
  • Jew's harp Altay komuses Russia beginners model
  • Lot of fun
  • Compact size
  • Very easy to use

The sound produced by the Jaw Harp can be adjusted by changing the shape of the mouth and using the tongue to modulate the sound. This allows for a wide range of tones and effects. Despite its simplicity, the Jaw Harp has been used in some famous songs over the years. For example, it can be heard in Led Zeppelin’s “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp” and The Beatles’ “Love You To”. Overall, the Jaw Harp is a weird, odd, and interesting musical instrument that deserves more recognition. Its unique sound and simple design make it a fun instrument to play and experiment with. 

Cajon Box

The Cajon Box is an acoustic box-shaped hand percussion instrument that has its origins in 18th century Peru. It is played by making contact with the front plate, and produces a drum-like, wooden sound. Measuring 10 1/4″ wide x 15″ tall x 10 1/4″ deep, the Jam Cajon is made for easy transport and straightforward use so that anyone can sit down and play this instrument. It is commonly used in Flamenco, jazz, and Afro-Peruvian music.

Pyle Jam Cajon - Wooden Cajon Stringed Percussion Box (PCJD18)
  • PERFECT HANDCRAFT : Introducing Pyle string Jam Cajon, a perfect musical instrument that brings more life into your music An amazing hand crafted wooden panel box frame built in classic /traditional instrument style
  • ADJUSTABLE GUITAR STRINGS : Pyle string Jam Cajon is exquisitely engineered to allow musicians to totally express themselves, it features internal Adjustable guitar strings which provides a smooth rhythmic sound production for a better musical experience Strings can be tuned from the bottom of the cajon (hex key included inside)
  • COMPACT AND LIGHTWEIGHT : Comes in a compact size (LxWxH) : 12.0" x12.0" x18.0" and weighs only 10.9 pounds Very light and easy to carry about unlike other heavy and bulky brands of stringed Jam Cajon
  • ANTI-VIBRATION INTERFERENCE: Pyle wooden Cajon percussion box features a rubber-capped feet in order to prevent any possibility of vibration interference and encourage original crystal clear acoustic sound production
  • NO AGE RESTRICTIONS: this product is designed for everyone, irrespective of the age. It's completely safe for all including children

There are many different types of cajon boxes available on the market today, ranging from beginner models to professional models. For beginners, there are cajons with MDF boxes, cherry faceplates, bass ports, and snare wires; while more advanced players may opt for a cajon with figured cherry or other custom features. Playing the cajon requires some basic knowledge of rhythm and timing as well as an understanding of how to use your hands to create different sounds. 


The Kalimba is a small musical instrument that belongs to the percussion family. It’s also known as the Thumb Piano or Mbira and is played by plucking metal or wooden tines with the thumbs. It has a unique, resonant sound that is both soothing and uplifting. The Kalimba originated in Africa and has been used for centuries in traditional music. Over time, it has gained popularity worldwide and has found its way into various genres of music, including folk, pop, and even hip-hop. One of the unique things about the Kalimba is its design. It consists of a wooden or metal box with a series of metal or wooden tines attached to it. Each tine produces a different note when plucked, allowing for a wide range of sounds.

Kalimba Thumb Piano,YUNDIE Portable 17 Keys Mbira Finger Piano with Tune Hammer and Study Instruction,Musical Instruments Birthday Gift for Kid Adult Beginners Professional(Brown)
  • High Quality Material-Kalimba thumb piano is handcrafted with high-quality wood and ore steel bars, which ensures that you can play beautiful and pure music with this Kalimba.
  • Embossed Notes & Hand-rest Curve Design: The keys are embossed with letters and notes, which help begginers and kids to recognize and memory the key, and learn to play a song easily.
  • Portable instrument-This thumb piano is a portable instrument that you can take it anywhere,party,travel,camping, and play music anywhere to relax yourself and bring happy to friends and family.
  • A very special gift-If you want to give a special and creative gift for your friends,kids,family, think about this thumb piano, it won't let you down.And it's good for Christmas birthday housewarming present as well.
  • High-quality customer service-365 days warranty, 183 days unconditional return guarantee. Please feel free to contact us if you have any question.We are willing to provide you with the best products and the best customer service.

The Kalimba produce a sound that is warm and mellow, with a distinct “twang”. It’s a versatile instrument that can be played alone or in an ensemble. Despite its simplicity, the Kalimba has been used in some famous songs over the years. For example, it can be heard in Radiohead’s “Sail to the Moon” and Vampire Weekend’s “M79”. Overall, the Kalimba is a weird, odd, and interesting musical instrument that deserves more recognition. Its unique sound and simple design make it a fun instrument to play and experiment with. 

Famous “Odd” Instrument Players 

From rock stars to classical musicians, there are many famous musicians who have played with weird & odd musical  instruments:

  1. Theremin – Clara Rockmore was a classically trained musician and is widely considered to be the most accomplished thereminist of all time.
  2. Ondes Martenot – Maurice Martenot was a French cellist and composer who invented the Ondes Martenot in 1928. He was also an early adopter of the instrument, performing with it in concerts around Europe.
  3. Eigenharp – Brian Eno is a British musician, composer, and producer who has been credited with popularizing the Eigenharp in modern music production.
  4. Reactable – Björk is an Icelandic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been known to use the Reactable live on stage during her performances.
  5. Waterphone – Richard Waters is an American avant-garde composer and multi-instrumentalist who created the waterphone in 1969 as an experimental instrument for his compositions.
  6. Haken Continuum – Jordan Rudess is an American keyboardist best known for his work with progressive metal band Dream Theater, where he uses the Haken Continuum extensively in his performances.
  7. Otamatone – Shigeru Matsuzaki is a Japanese musician and inventor who created the Otamatone in 1998 as a way to make music more accessible to everyone regardless of their musical background or experience level.
  8. Stylophone – David Bowie was a British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who famously used the Stylophone on his album “Space Oddity” in 1969 as well as other albums throughout his career.
  9. Jaw Harp – Tuvan throat singers Huun Huur Tu have been known to use jaw harps extensively in their traditional music performances since they first formed in 1992.
  10. Cajon Box – Alex Acuña is a Peruvian drummer and percussionist best known for his work with jazz fusion band Weather Report, where he often used cajon boxes as part of his drum kit setup during live shows and recordings sessions throughout their career together from 1971 to 1985 .

Frequently Asked Questions

What are other weirdest musical instruments in the world?

Some of the weirdest musical instruments ever created in the world not included in our review are the musical saw, yaybahar, hydraulophone, wheelharp, glass armonica, chapman stick, didgeridoo, resonator,  and the pikasso guitar.

What is a stringed instrument?

A stringed instrument is any musical instrument that produces sound by vibrating strings. Examples of stringed instruments include the violin, harp, lute, and nyckelharpa.

What is an electronic instrument?

An electronic instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound using electronic circuits. Examples of electronic instruments include synthesizers, digital pianos, and drum machines.

What is a percussion instrument?

A percussion instrument is any musical instrument that produces sound by being struck, shaken, or scraped. Examples of percussion instruments include drums, xylophones, and maracas.

What is a plucked string instrument?

A plucked string instrument is a stringed instrument that produces sound by plucking the strings. Examples of plucked string instruments include guitars, ukuleles, and banjos.

What is a bowed string instrument?

A bowed string instrument is a stringed instrument that produces sound by bowing the strings with a bow. Examples of bowed string instruments include the violin, cello, and double bass.

What is a woodwind instrument?

A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by blowing air through a mouthpiece. Examples of woodwind instruments include the flute, clarinet, and saxophone.

What is a melodic instrument?

A melodic instrument is any musical instrument that produces a melody or tune. Examples of melodic instruments include the violin, flute, and theremin.


If you’re an avid fan of music or love to play an instrument, you’ve probably come across some truly fascinating pieces out there. Some may sound eerie, others completely futuristic, but they all have one thing in common – they’re truly unique. These unusual oddities are scattered throughout various genres, and just like traditional instruments, they’re bound to inspire generations of musicians to come. Whether you’re looking for a new sound for your music or just love learning about new and innovative instruments, you’ll find what you’re looking for right here. Take a moment to appreciate the creativity and artistry that goes into designing these quirky musical companions.