In the pantheon of musical instruments there stands a distinct pecking order.
At the top are the regal stringed instruments and haughty wind instruments with their symphonic tones. Below them are the slightly more earthy, party-oriented percussion instruments (excluding the piano) and brass section.
Standing slightly off stage, ignored at parties, are the oddballs: the triangle, tambourine, and the cowbell. Below them all - barely even allowed to be in the musical club - stands the lowly kazoo.
The kazoo, also known as the “Down-South Submarine,” has noble roots. Similar instruments have long been used for ceremonial purposes in Africa, before being reworked and made into the kazoo by African-American Alabama Vest and clock-maker Thaddeus Von Clegg in the 1840s.
Founded in 2007 and housed at the Kazoobie Kazoo Factory in Beaufort, SC, the Kazoo Museum hosts a collection of nearly two-hundred unique kazoo-related items. Started by Kazoo retailers and enthusiasts Rick Hubbard and Gayle Andrus, the museum shows off a collection of “kazoos shaped like famous cartoon characters, electric kazoos, and kazoos that are over 100 years old.”
The Kazoo Museum guides you through the engaging journey of one of America’s only homegrown instruments, and aims to bring a little more respect to the lowly kazoo.
Know Before You Go
Open Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm. Free admission.