Musical Instruments

A fire at Nantes Cathedral destroyed stained-glass windows and a 17th-century organ.

Arsonist Confesses to Starting Nantes Cathedral Fire

The July 18 blaze, which inflicted less damage than the devastating April 2019 inferno at Notre-Dame, destroyed the French church's organ, stained glass

The sequencer on the 808, a row of 16 color-coded buttons, offered artists a way to store beats they programmed.

The TR-808 Drum Machine Changed the Sound of Pop Music Forever

Sometimes, technology has more impact after it's obsolete

Some U.K. crafters are dedicating their spare time to making masks and drawstring bags for medical professionals.

Arts and Crafts Are Experiencing Surge in Popularity Amid COVID-19

Stay-at-home orders have inspired those with ample free time to pick up hands-on projects

American jazz musicians Charlie Parker, on alto sax, and Thelonious Monk, on piano, perform at the Open Door Cafe, in New York City on September 14, 1953.

The Long Journey of Charlie Parker’s Saxophone

The newly acquired instrument, played by the father of bebop, is on view at the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Hauschka performed at the 35th Munich Filmfest on June 27, 2017, in Munich, Germany.

How Composer John Cage Transformed the Piano—With the Help of Some Household Objects

With screws and bolts placed between its strings, the 'prepared piano' offers up a wide range of sounds

When she learned to play the theremin, Dorit Chrysler was struck by its emotional expressiveness.

A Century Ago, This Eerie-Sounding Instrument Ushered in Electronic Music

Now, the theremin—a strange little invention that translates hand gestures into pitch and volume—could make a comeback

Divers participating in the Underwater Music Festival pretend to play musical instruments in the waters off of Big Pine Key, Florida.

This Florida Music Festival Takes Place Completely Underwater

To draw attention to coral reef conservation, divers play 'bass-oons' and 'trombonefish' at the Underwater Music Festival in Key West

In 1969, the New York Times described Joe Cocker’s air guitar as “unusual gesturing.”

An Electrifying History of Air Guitar

How the world's most popular invisible instrument became such a hit

In 1904, Joseph Kekuku, inventor of the Hawaiian steel guitar, left Hawaii to perform on the American West Coast. Newspaper critics called him the “world’s greatest guitar soloist.”

How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed American Music

The season finale of Sidedoor tells the story of an indigenous Hawaiian instrument with a familiar sound and unexpected influences

Installation view of "Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll"

From Buddy Holly to Lady Gaga, the Met's New 'Play It Loud' Exhibit Features the Instruments of Rock and Roll Greats

The show includes more than 130 guitars, drum kits and keyboards, as well as vintage costumes, posters and concert footage

Skrillex's Grammy-winning “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” could help researchers discourage the spread of mosquito-borne diseases

Playing Skrillex May Help Ward Off Mosquito Bites

The EDM artist’s mix of very high and low frequency beats discourages the insects from biting victims, having sex

These new songs will not be performed by a children's Christmas choir.

The Titles of These AI-Generated Christmas Carols Are Pure Cinnamon Hollybells

🎶 We wish you a Merry Jinglelog 🎶

The Telharmonium is considered to be the first electromechanical musical instrument.

The World's First Synthesizer Was a 200-Ton Behemoth

Thaddeus Cahill's Telharmonium may not have been a huge success, but it was an important achievement in music history

Doug E. Fresh, beatboxing pioneer, lays it down.

This Is What Happens Inside a Beatboxer's Mouth When They Perform

MRI scans of vocal percussionists show that beatboxing takes the vocal tract beyond human language


Could 3-D Printing Save Music Education?

D.C. chef Erik Bruner-Yang interviews Jill-of-all-trades Kaitlyn Hova about her plan to infuse STEM education with open source, 3-D printable instruments

Rendering of the Tower of Voices

Building the Flight 93 Memorial's Massive Chime Tower

The Tower of Voices, being erected in Pennsylvania this summer, will feature chimes on a scale unseen anywhere else in the world

Miqayel Voskanyan plays the tar, an Armenian folk instrument.

These Soulful, Soothing Armenian Songs and Instrumentals Blend East With West

Performers from all over the globe gather with traditional instruments to perform at this year’s Folklife Festival

Recordings are available via Soundcloud and the Google Arts & Culture platform

How to Hear the Met’s Historic Instruments' Singular Sounds

New audio recordings by the museum feature roughly 40 instruments, from Ming dynasty lute to the world’s oldest surviving piano

"Lost" John Coltrane Album to Be Released

<i>Both Directions At Once</i> was recorded in 1963 by the classic quartet and reveals Coltrane's journey from melodic standards to avant-garde jazz

Brown’s portable instrument, 40 inches high by 50 inches wide, had a signature flourish: silver trim.

The Electric Organ That Gave James Brown His Unstoppable Energy

What was it about the Hammond organ that made the 'Godfather of Soul' say please, please, please?

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