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10 Totally Different Instruments for Strange Music Day

Today, August 24, is International Strange Music Day so let’s celebrate by recognizing some of strange and interesting instruments you won’t see just anywhere, unless you look real hard.   Here’s ten instruments worth a listen or look, including the suitcase bass, playing a building, sea organ and more.
 The Yaybahar

Yaybahar is an electric-free, totally acoustic instrument designed by Gorkem Sen.


Chrysalis instrument invented by Cris Forster

Chrysalis invented by Cris Forster

Invented and built by Cris Forster,

Chrysalis Foundation

The Great Stalacpipe Organ

You haven’t heard Beethoven until you’ve heard it in the caverns.


The Great Stalacpipe Organ is deep within Luray Caverns, Virginia. Each key is wired to a solenoid-actuated rubber mallet that is connected to one of 37 different stalactites scattered around 3.5 acres of the caverns. When a key is pressed, the mallet strikes the stalactite.

The World’s Largest Pipe Organ & Loudest Instrument

Guinness World's Largest Pipe Organ and Loudest Musical Instrument

Guinness World’s Largest Pipe Organ and Loudest Musical Instrument

The massive organ has 33,112 pipes in 455 ranks, including a full-length 64 foot Diaphone Profunda, ten 32 foot ranks, and manual and pedal reeds that are under 100 inches of wind pressure, while most organs never exceed 10 inches of pressure. It weighs about 150 TONS!

A tour of the entire organ takes 4 1/2 hours.

More details at



Sea Organ

Can’t compose? Let the sea do it for you with this magnificent architectural beach organ.

The Sea organ is in Zadar, Croatia plays music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps.



Mulligan Brothers’ Ben Leininger plays a Suitcase Stand Up Bass (made by Ross Newell).  Anthony Crawford of Sugarcane Jane & Willie Sugarcapps has a handmade ‘paddle bow’.   Will Kimbrough has a handmade box guitar too.

Ben Leininger of Mulligan Brothers. Picture courtesy of Sharon Steinmann &

Anthony Crawford (Willie Sugarcapps, Sugarcane Jane) playing his 'paddle guitar'

Anthony Crawford (Willie Sugarcapps, Sugarcane Jane) playing his ‘paddle bow’

Anthony Crawford's

Anthony Crawford’s “Paddle Bow”

Will Kimbrough’s handmade guitar










Luther Dickinson, North Mississippi Allstars with his oil can guitar

Luther Dickinson, North Mississippi Allstars with his oil can guitar

North Mississippi Allstars Luther Dickinson’s cigar box guitar.  In ‘Rollin & Tumblin’ he plays the oil can guitar that doubles as vocal effect.  Brother Cody plugs a washboard into amps and creates a wickedly crunchy guitar sound. We’ll call it Southern Grunge.



So who needs a mass-produced $20 guitar to make music?  Just get a set of strings and go from there!


Lee Ann TLC in the Morning

TLC in the Morning