Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

A Global Tour of Remarkable Musical Instruments

These 19 sonic contraptions are well worth experiencing in person.

Musical instruments have been around for at least 37,000 years in countless types, varieties, and classifications, all with one goal: creating sound waves. And yet most instruments have remained relatively unchanged throughout their histories; in fact, painstaking efforts are often taken to make sure machines are built to centuries-old specifications.

But some do eschew conventional processes to create truly unique sonic experiences. Organs that harness the tide or are built from stalactites, a secret Lullaby Factory, and a bass that plays notes so low humans can’t hear them exemplify an even wider scope of musical innovation. Here are 19 of the most wonderfully unusual instruments around the globe.


19
Places in
this list
Places You
have Been
Places You
want to visit
Grid View
List View