Music is a universal language that bridges gaps and binds people regardless of race, creed, or color. Every culture has its own style of music, but did you know that many have their own instruments as well? Various sounds and rhythms have emerged from across the globe as a result of the instruments that produce these sounds. Here’s a quick look at some exotic instruments and their far-flung native origins.
How soothing is the steady downpour of a rainstorm? You can harness that beautiful sound with a set of rain sticks. Originating from ancient Aztec tribes, these hollowed out sticks or cactus skins have stones, pins or other small objects that create the rushing sound when position is shifted. Tribes used the rain sticks to call upon their gods to deliver rain during dry spells. Today, you can find simple rain sticks for upwards of a few dollars, so it’s certainly a cheap way to make waves at your next party.
Often, you can get a feel for something just from hearing its name. The maraca, also known as rumba shakers or shac-shacs, have similar design principle as rain sticks, but while the latter produces a smooth, rushing sound, maracas create a more energetic, vibrant noise due to the swift movement of shaking.
These hold their origins in Latin America as far back as 1500 years ago, and maracas can usually be found in various ethnic patterns and designs. This is a fun instrument that you can shake, beat, or strum against your body to add rhythmic excitement to any tune.
The didgeridoo was developed in Northern Australia. A wind instrument that consists of a long, hollowed out, wooden pipe, the didgeridoo is sometimes as long as 10 feet! The length of the instrument will affect its sound, producing a lower pitch as it elongates. Enthusiasts can find beautiful pieces with ornate designs running down the pipe.
People young and old love playing the drums because it helps release nervous energy while creating rhythmic and captivating sounds. Now you can enjoy dancing to the beat of your own drum with the Middle Eastern Darbuka. This wonder will run between $20-$50 usually, and the array of sounds that you can create with just a few strums of your fingertips and palms will astound you.
- Thinking of learning a new instrument? Why not veer off the beaten path, and try something really unique? You can always return to a more disciplined and popular skill like playing the piano once you’ve mastered your own native instrument. Discover a new and exciting instrument today!
Also published on Medium.