Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Unusual Musical Instruments

Backgrounds and Videos of Unusual and Unique Musical Instruments


A wind instrument in which sound is produced by the vibration of reeds in the mouthpiece, as a bassoon, clarinet, oboe, or saxophone, or by the passing of air across the mouthpiece, as a flute.

Native American Drone Flute

The Native American flute is a flute that is held in front of the player, has open finger holes, and has two chambers: a slow air chamber for collecting the breath of the player and a sound chamber which creates sound. There are also double flutes that have two sound chambers that can be played simultaneously. The two chambers could have the same length or be different lengths.

The secondary sound chamber can hold a fixed pitch, in which case the term "drone flute" is sometimes used. Alternately, various configurations of finger holes on the two sound chambers can be used, in which case terms such as "harmony flute" or "harmonic flute" are sometimes used.

Extending the concept, Native American flutes with three or more chambers have been crafted. The general term "multiple flute" is sometimes used for these designs.

- from Wikipedia


The sheng is a Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical pipes. It is one of the oldest Chinese instruments, with images depicting its kind dating back to 1100 BCE, and there are actual instruments from the Han era that have been preserved today.

- from Wikipedia

Demonstration of the Sheng:
(embedding of this video was not allowed)

Contrabass Saxophone

The contrabass saxophone is the second-lowest-pitched extant member of the saxophone family proper. It is extremely large (twice the length of tubing of the baritone saxophone, with a bore twice as wide, standing 1.9 meters tall, or 6 feet four inches) and heavy (approximately 20 kilograms, or 45 pounds), and is pitched in the key of E♭, one octave below the baritone saxophone.

- from Wikipedia

Pan Flute

The pan flutes (also known as panpipes) are a group of musical instruments based on the principle of the closed tube, consisting of multiple pipes of gradually increasing length (and occasionally girth).

Multiple varieties of panflutes have long been popular as folk instruments. The pipes are typically made from bamboo, giant cane, or local reeds. Other materials include wood, plastic, metal and ivory.

- from Wikipedia

Contrabass Flute

The contrabass flute is one of the rarer members of the flute family. It is used mostly in flute ensembles. Its range is similar to that of the regular concert flute, except that it is pitched two octaves lower; the lowest performable note is two octaves below middle C (the lowest C on the cello).

- from Wikipedia