“Pass the Hornucopian Dronepipe” – 10 Unusual Instruments in Pop

We’ve been much taken by the new release “In Bloom” by Brit abroad, Julia Mascetti, whose career as a freelance harpist has seen her perform not only her own songs in her adopted home of Tokyo but also video game themes and metal covers.

Here she is playing some Cradle of Filth:


Do you know what’s missing in the world? Peace? Love? Happiness? Fair guesses, but actually, the answer is flugelhorns. Our new hero Johann Sebastian Punk subscribes to our mindset entirely – we aren’t sure if there’s definitely one on this track but have a watch anyway.

There’s something strangely affecting about creaky old electronic keyboards and, for all the love mellotrons get, we’re very fond of an optigan, as was the much-missed Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse

The first and only time we will be sanctioning the use of bagpipes – blessed AC/DC and It’s a Long Way to the Top:

What’s that weird piece of forest litter Reg plays on “Wild Thing”? It’s an ocarina, innit!

For all Jimi’s outrageous talent on the guitar, would “Crosstown Traffic” be half the song with the kazoo?

Including Tom is a bit of a cheat really – nearly every track of his latter-day career has featured him bashing everything from bones to spice racks, but here’s a gem with some lovely bowed saw

There are a surprising number of glass instruments available, all of which have an utterly unearthly sound quite unlike anything else. Behold the glass harmonica on Pink Floyd‘s Shine on You Crazy Diamond

Throw your hats in the air for the band who based their entire career on their unusual instrument of choice. Roky Erickson’s 13th Floor Elevators use of the electric jug has never been matched

We weren’t 100% certain what a fully-fledged koto was, never mind a toy one but it can rarely have been used in a more epic setting than Queen‘s “Prophet’s Song”.