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Uncommon Musical Instruments Part 2

Updated on September 22, 2011

The Nyckelharpa is something of a cross between a violin and a Hurdy Gurdy, in that it uses key-actuated tangents to change the pitch, like the Hurdy Gurdy, and bow and strings like a violin. The Nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish instrument that has been around since the 1400's and maybe even as early as the 1300's.

It may have a similar sound to the violin, but if you listen closely you can hear the difference. There is a sweetness to the melody that will have you swaying along to the tune. have you ever been ill and upon recovering, you were made to consume liquids only? Soon you begin to long for food with real substance, something you can really sink your teeth into. And when that time comes, and you bite into a piece of meat done to perfection, just the way you like wonderful, you can almost taste it with your whole body! well, that is almost what it is like the difference between a violin and a nyckelharpa...The nyckelharpa has so much more substance to it, so much more depth to it. Sadly it also looks like it would also be a lot harder to learn how to play as well as a lot harder to manage.

The Hydraulophone doesn't have the history of the Nyckelharpa. It is however, still a fascinating instrument, if somewhat messy one. I am not sure just how the Hydraulophone works, but it is similar to the way a woodwind instrument works, and is in fact called a woodwater instrument. Even if it is not made of wood.

Like a woodwind instrument, when air is blown through the tube, notes are made by blocking the holes, only in this case you block the flow of water from the holes instead of air. You can change the pitch of the note simply by how you place your finger over the hole, whether over the center or just on the edge. A physics based organology system had to be introduced in order for the Hydraulophone to play in orchestras as it did not quite fit in with normal instruments. It has uses other than musical, in fact, I think it was first used for engineering purposes, though I could be wrong about that.

While searching YouTube for a good example of a Hydraulophone, I ran across this guy. Now this is what I call a talented musician. I just had to add it to my hub because, well, I guess once you see it you will understand. The title of my hub is Uncommon Musical Instruments, and I think this man wins the award for having the most uncommon musical instruments in one place. I have often thought about how I might make my own instrument...I have even pondered inventing one. But I never...Never came close to the things this guy came up with. I applaud his ingenuity, creativity and imagination. I am pretty sure you will to.


Submit a Comment

  • tlmcgaa70 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from south dakota, usa

    Charlotte, you are a treasure! you are so very encouraging in your enthusiasm. I also loved that last video...who would have thought to make a musical instrument out of a potato or a carrot? and a bagpipe out of a rubber glove? incredible! thank you again for taking the time to read my hubs. may your days be as bright and cheerful as you are, my friend!

  • Charlotte B Plum profile image

    Charlotte B Plum 

    7 years ago

    Oh my! I am so glad I didn't miss this hub! It's just super fascinating, and I love how the instruments sound, how unique! The last video was just so creative and hilarious at the same time. Thanks for writing this!


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