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Author Topic: Unusual instruments  (Read 6133 times)

Offline PH

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Unusual instruments
« on: Fri, 2012-05-11, 22:08:35 »
I was doing a bit of surfing on the interwebs and stumbled upon this YouTube movie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U

The thing is called a theremin. And the woman playing it, Clara Rockmore. She does indeed rock more, because she was one of the very few people who can play this instrument flawless. I remember hearing the instrument used in the theme of Midsumer Murders and loved it.
It makes me wonder, do Prog bands use theremins? I haven't seen it yet.

Or what about this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XPfoFZYso8

A glass harmonica! Invented by Benjamin Franklin. Kind of like a glass harp, that one.

Let's make this thread a topic about unusual instruments. Do you know any?

Offline Nicky007

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 2012-05-12, 09:49:10 »
It makes me wonder, do Prog bands use theremins?

Paxi, Jimmy Page was the one who became known for playing the theremin, some forty years ago:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kujH0ScAi0

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtoVZ4eObg8

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Offline Manatee

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 2012-05-12, 15:19:24 »
It makes me wonder, do Prog bands use theremins?

I'm not sure about prog bands, but the character, Sheldon (the most brilliant and most socially inept among a group of brilliant socially inept physicists), on the tv show, The Big Bang Theory, plays the Star Trek theme on the theremin.  Not sure if this one's been exported yet, but it's the funniest show on tv right now IMO.  BTW, I'm using brilliant in the "really smart" sense, not the British "really good" sense.  Thank you, Harry Potter.   ;D

As another entry, one might mention the didgeridoo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo.  I wouldn't be surprised if Peter Gabriel has used one, but I don't know for sure that he has.  They also make good weapons for whacking the program directors of ordinary stinkin' radio stations on the head.   ;)
"What is that sound?  It's confusing, and boy is it loud!"

Offline PH

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #3 on: Sat, 2012-05-12, 20:44:19 »
Paxi, Jimmy Page was the one who became known for playing the theremin, some forty years ago:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kujH0ScAi0

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtoVZ4eObg8

Yeah, but he plays it for getting a few cool sound effects, not actual music. At least in the videos you posted.
Here's the Midsomer Murders theme for comparison:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvD73A9eXXk

Great piece of theme music, if you'd ask me.

I'm not sure about prog bands, but the character, Sheldon (the most brilliant and most socially inept among a group of brilliant socially inept physicists), on the tv show, The Big Bang Theory, plays the Star Trek theme on the theremin.  Not sure if this one's been exported yet, but it's the funniest show on tv right now IMO.  BTW, I'm using brilliant in the "really smart" sense, not the British "really good" sense.  Thank you, Harry Potter.   ;D

Hehehe, looked it up on YouTube and found myself watching a few clips of this tv series. Funny stuff.

As another entry, one might mention the didgeridoo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo.  I wouldn't be surprised if Peter Gabriel has used one, but I don't know for sure that he has.  They also make good weapons for whacking the program directors of ordinary stinkin' radio stations on the head.   ;)

Ahh yes! The didgeridoo of course! I love that sound! Well, and it is used in a Prog song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfYD5urjZGs

Offline Draco chimera

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 2012-05-13, 15:59:21 »
Ahh yes! The didgeridoo of course! I love that sound! Well, and it is used in a Prog song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfYD5urjZGs
An instrument that sounds a lot like a didgeridoo can be heard at the end of Feeding Frenzy. I learnt to play it last year, it was a popular instrument among my schoolmates - as surprising as it may seem. Also, in Skara Brae, during the acoustic bridge, you can hear something close to a musical saw in the back. My guitar teacher once showed it to me live, and believe me, the sound is quite incredible - something like a high-pitched female voice, only it doesn't come from a woman, but from a saw quite like those you cut your wood with. It is played with an archer, and any saw can do the trick, though there are special saws conceived for such activity.
Both the didgeridoo and the musical saw require hard-to-learn skills, but once you know how it works, you can do amazing things with it.
Let your conscience decide !

Offline PH

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #5 on: Sun, 2012-05-13, 19:17:51 »
Both the didgeridoo and the musical saw require hard-to-learn skills, but once you know how it works, you can do amazing things with it.

The trick with the didgeridoo is to breathe in through the nose while pushing out air through your mouth. Which is indeed very hard to do. I remember having played a didgeridoo once (years ago), and there was an Australian teacher, who learned from the Aborigines. But I simply didn't get it. I think it only worked for about five seconds.

Offline Draco chimera

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 2012-05-16, 19:08:39 »
The trick with the didgeridoo is to breathe in through the nose while pushing out air through your mouth. Which is indeed very hard to do. I remember having played a didgeridoo once (years ago), and there was an Australian teacher, who learned from the Aborigines. But I simply didn't get it. I think it only worked for about five seconds.
Yeah, it's really hard. I haven't praticed since last year (and even then, I didn't practice much). I would really like to play again.
Let your conscience decide !

Offline Manatee

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #7 on: Fri, 2012-05-25, 06:42:07 »
Ahh yes! The didgeridoo of course! I love that sound! Well, and it is used in a Prog song!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfYD5urjZGs

I'm a little late to mention this, but I've played that Ayreon song you linked here ("Loser") several times, and not only does it have didgeridoo, it's a really great song and a fun video.  I haven't really managed to get into Ayreon much so far, but if the album it's on is close to as good as that song, then I need to get it.   *horns*
"What is that sound?  It's confusing, and boy is it loud!"

Offline PH

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #8 on: Fri, 2012-05-25, 10:51:30 »
I'm a little late to mention this, but I've played that Ayreon song you linked here ("Loser") several times, and not only does it have didgeridoo, it's a really great song and a fun video.  I haven't really managed to get into Ayreon much so far, but if the album it's on is close to as good as that song, then I need to get it.   *horns*

"The Human Equation" is a great album!
Not all songs are like this song.
But there are three songs in total with Devin on it:
Day Three: Pain
Day Eight: School
Day Sixteen: Loser

All three really nice songs, but the album is full of great songs.

Offline PH

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #9 on: Mon, 2012-05-28, 11:28:38 »
A banjo is also an instrument that isn't used that much.
I like listening to Irish folk music every now and then. A banjo is often used, but in Prog a banjo is almost non existent.

Offline Draco chimera

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #10 on: Mon, 2012-05-28, 18:03:57 »
A banjo is also an instrument that isn't used that much.
I like listening to Irish folk music every now and then. A banjo is often used, but in Prog a banjo is almost non existent.
The only prog appearance of banjo I can think of is Last Chance To Evacuate Planet Earth Before It Is Recycled, by Porcupine Tree.
Let your conscience decide !

Offline kmorse

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Re: Unusual instruments
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 2012-07-09, 20:41:58 »
The Beach Boys used a theremin on "Good Vibrations," and perhaps some other songs.
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