5 Uncommon Musical Instruments That Sound Incredible!

Did you know that the theremin is an instrument that can be played without having physical contact at all? Musical instruments exist in many different forms, and we have curated a list of the strangest of them all. While the following instruments come in unusual forms, they each utilize clever ways to produce sounds - some of them even integrating with nature. Read on to find out what these instruments are!

Theremin

 
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Are you fascinated by the idea of playing music by just waving your hands in the air? At the top of our list, the theremin may just be the strangest instrument. Comprising of 2 metal antennas, the theremin produces sound by sending amplified electric signals to a loudspeaker.

A thereminist controls the sound by moving their hands around the theremin, without actually coming into physical contact with the instrument. The two antennas sense the relative position of the thereminist’s hands and control frequency (pitch) and amplitude (volume) oscillators - the loop antenna on the left controls the volume while the upright antenna controls the pitch.

Check out the video below featuring Peter Pringle on the Theremin performing Harold Arlen’s “Over The Rainbow”.

Glass Harmonica

 
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This fragile instrument comprises of a series of rotating glass bowls graduating in size to produce tones via friction. The design of the glass harmonica was perfected by Benjamin Franklin, who mounted the bowls horizontally on an iron spindle. The spindle is then turned by operating a foot pedal. With Franklin’s design, it is possible to play ten bowls simultaneously if desired, something that is very difficult to achieve using upright wine glasses, the predecessor to the glass harmonica.

Check out the video below featuring William Zeitler performing his arrangement of Tchaikowsky’s “Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy” for the glass harmonica.

Hydraulophone

 
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Sharing a similar sound with woodwind instruments, this unique instrument differs by producing sounds hydraulically. A player blocks the flow of water through a particular hole in order to sound a particular note. The sound is produced by using water jets to strike perforated spinning disks, shafts or valves, to create a pulsating water flow.

Check out the video below featuring Ryan Janzen performing "Suite for Hydraulophone” together with the Hart House Symphonic Band.

Sea Organ

 
 

Located in Zadar, Croatia, the sea organ is an experimental musical instrument combining nature and music together. Utilising the waves from the sea to push air into a series of whistles and perforations on the stairs, the sea organ produces sounds that are random yet in harmony. Check out the video below to see the sea organ in action!


The Singing Ringing Tree

 
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Finishing the list, the Singing Ringing Tree is part sculpture, part instrument. It makes use of the wind to produce penetrating choral sounds. These sounds cover a range of several octaves through the means of galvanised steel pipes which are cut and tuned to produce their respective pitches. The Singing Ringing Tree is located at the Pennine hill range overlooking Burnley, in Lancashire, England.

Check out the video below to see the Singing Ringing Tree in action!

Play on and Tinkle Away!!

Meet our Teachers - Our Cheerful Pianist & Instructor, Eileen Cheng

Meet our Teachers - Our Cheerful Pianist & Instructor, Eileen Cheng

Eileen showed interest in music at an early age, enrolling for piano lessons when she was just 6. She continued her lessons up till 17, where she obtained her ABRSM Grade 8 Piano Performance and Grade 6 Theory of Music. Following that, she proceeded to enrol herself into LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore under the tutelage of Mr. Frank DeMeglio for 3 years, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, specialising in Classical Performance (Piano) in 2019. While she was undertaking her undergraduate studies, Eileen took part in various projects such as winning the Annual Piano Concerto Competition in 2018, playing the Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major written by Mozart featuring her own lead-ins and cadenzas. In the same year, she also directed an interdisciplinary performance entitled, Piano Voyage: The Time Traveller’s Memoir held in Lasalle College of the Arts, featuring animators, and dancers who were an integral part to the performance. Eileen strives to be a better educator for her students, stemming from her personal experience with one herself.

O-level Music Revised to Better Cater to Students' Diverse Musical Interests and Backgrounds

O-level Music Revised to Better Cater to Students' Diverse Musical Interests and Backgrounds

For the longest time, O-level Music has been limited to Western Classical Music and Asian Music Studies. It delved into Operas, Art Song, Orchestra Music, Keyboard Music, Musicals, Chamber Music, Malay, Indian, Chinese Ensemble Music, and Gamelan. Though these are important historical developments in music, they are disconnected from the music of today, from what our children are listening to, and what Singapore’s cultural leaders are creating.

Alan Silvestri - The man behind the Avengers’ superb soundtracks

Alan Silvestri - The man behind the Avengers’ superb soundtracks

Have you watched Avengers: Endgame yet? If not, hurry up and get your tickets! With a record breaking opening worldwide over the past week, “Avengers: Endgame” serves as the rousing final chapter to the Infinity Saga. The success of the film is further accentuated by its superb soundtrack written by Grammy-winning composer, Alan Silvestri.

4 Reasons Why D-Flat Studios is Singapore’s leading Music School

4 Reasons Why D-Flat Studios is Singapore’s leading Music School

Keen to pursue music but don’t know where to start? Let us guide you from here. At D-Flat Studios, we are always trying to nurture potential musicians who have yet to be discovered. With over 10 years of experience teaching the art of music through piano and voice, we are confident in our methodology which is constantly being reviewed by our panel of dedicated teachers to stay on top of the latest music education. We also take pride with these few characteristics that are unique to us.

Music in Silent Films - Music which “speaks”

Music in Silent Films - Music which “speaks”

Ever felt emotional listening to your favourite tunes? You are not alone. Music has been a universal feature of the human society, with the power to evoke primal feelings from our cores. Silent films, one of the milestones in the history of film-making, make use of music in this precise manner. Recorded without a synchronised audio track, these films do not contain any audible dialogue, making use of title cards to convey its plot and live music to add more drama to the films.

Vaudeville, Bringing Music and Comedy Together

Music has always played a pivotal role in complementing the creative arts such as theatre, film, and dance. A creative director’s process involves thinking about the function of the sonic arts in a performance - how music might enhance a show, inspire new choreographic heights, or even how sound effects might add to the effectiveness of humour in a show. Over the years, music has established its place in theatrical conventions. Specifically, music shared one of its greatest moments with comedy through the conception of Vaudeville shows.

Behind the Scenes - What goes on beyond the glamour of concerts & tours?

Mark these dates on your calendar! With international acts such as Ed Sheeran’s Divide World Tour (26th April 2019), Jason Mraz’s Good Vibes Tour (11th May 2019, Westlife’s Twenty Tour (10th August 2019) and Backstreet Boys’ DNA Tour (30th October 2019) happening within the year, we are fortunate to get to enjoy these wonderful concerts live in Singapore. However, do you ever wonder what goes on behind the stage for these large-scale performances to be executed flawlessly?

Music, A Universal Language.

Music, A Universal Language.

Have your heard of instrumental hits such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Strauss’ The Blue Danube, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5? Did you experience a certain feeling after listening to these hits? It’s fascinating how these instrumental pieces that do not contain any words have the capacity to evoke certain feelings within us. What causes one to experience those feelings? Music practitioners explain this phenomenon by regarding music to be a universal language - one that conveys primal feelings shared at the core of the human experience.

A Few Musical Activities for This School Holiday

A Few Musical Activities for This School Holiday

It’s play time! Whilst the holiday season is a great time to rest and relax, it’s also a great time to check out events and explore the abundance of activities that our island has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of musical to-dos for this March holiday - while students nationwide are taking a break, do not miss out on these opportunities to expose yourselves to music and the joy that it brings!

My child is 7 years old - What grade should they be in?

My child is 7 years old - What grade should they be in?

The recent abolishment of the streaming system in secondary schools by the Ministry of Education puts an end to the downsides of customised education, such as stigmatism and labelling. This goal is also shared in music education, where examination boards such as ABRSM aims to motivate learners at all levels and ages, providing realistic goals and tangible rewards for their achievements. Music exams serves as a good motivating tool for students to challenge themselves, performing their own personal best. However, it should not be regarded as a measure of their self-esteem or how good they are.

It's a Wrap - Annual Recital 2019

It's a Wrap - Annual Recital 2019

Beethoven, one of the most revered composers of the Classical realm, once said, “To play a wrong note is insignificant, but to play without passion is inexcusable.” Last Saturday, D-Flat Studios was proud to present three passionate groups of performers for our Annual Recital - our young beginners, our exam candidates and also our adult enthusiasts!

A Parent's Role in a Child's Musical Journey

A Parent's Role in a Child's Musical Journey

Parents are often said to be the first teachers of their children. A parent’s role in a child’s musical journey is one that is very influential, and there are many ways in which parents can help their child with their music learning. Some parents who have little to no musical experience might feel uncertain about their role and what they can do to help their children. The good news is, there is a lot that parents can do, musical or not, to help their children achieve success in their musical journey!

Great Apps to Spice Up your Practice Session

Great Apps to Spice Up your Practice Session

The rapid advancement of technology has not only made e-learning an extremely viable platform for education, but also popularized digital play as a mode of learning. Phone apps and games have burgeoned over the years as developers continuously race to construct the best apps and games to teach each and every subject.

According to Statista, there are 2.8 million apps available on Google Play and 2.2 million apps available on the Apple App Store as of March 2017. As the teachers and students here at D-Flat Studios prepare for the imminent ABRSM practical exams, we’ve found a couple of apps that have been greatly effective in spicing up a practice session!

Writing a #Konposition

Writing a #Konposition

Have you heard of the KonMari method? Pioneered by Japanese tidying expert Marie Kondo, the KonMari method is a Japanese system of simplifying and organizing one’s home by discarding physical items that do not bring joy into one’s life. Kondo proposes a simple criteria on deciding which items to get rid of and which to keep - whether or not the item “sparks joy”. Intrigued by what became one of the biggest trends that ushered in the new year, I decided to create a new composition using the KonMari method, using only musical elements that sparked joy within me.