[[quoteright:350:[[ComicBook/GastonLagaffe http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/me_amor.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Yes, it's a musical instrument. Sort of.]]

Weird and wacky musical instruments, that can show up in comedy, fantasy or SF, which came straight out of the author's head and look, well, weird--and [[AwesomeButImpractical probably wouldn't work in real life]]. The ones that ''do'' work in real life are mostly based on an existing musical principle, but explored in a new way with novel materials and some bits stuck on. Maybe they aren't even actually intended to make music. Some are really more like noisy {{Rube Goldberg Device}}s.

Compare EverythingIsAnInstrument, where things not designed or intended to make music ''do''.

Often, but not always, played by a DreadfulMusician.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Detragan from ''Anime/ProfessorLaytonAndTheEternalDiva'', which appears to combine a pipe organ, a harp, an accordion, tubular bells, numerous brass instruments, and an entire drumset. The whole thing is played using a single keyboard.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ComicBook/GastonLagaffe
** The Gaffophone (see picture), a homemade string/horn instrument whose use invariably results in [[ForMassiveDamage massive]] [[GlassShatteringSound damage]]. The sound the Gaffophone makes is the result of the overlap between BrownNote with LoudOfWar. Psychological and collateral damage all rolled up into one. It causes ''plants'' to commit suicide...
** He once made an electric version which was even worse: it caused a city-wide blackout, busted the plumbing of the entire building and blew out the front wall onto the street below.
** And even unamplified, it causes severe structural damage to buildings: on three separate occasions, he collapsed a factory chimney, a balcony, and the sixth floor of a building, had it carried by truck only for the truck to ''fall apart'', and accidentally turned it into an anti-air weapon (the plane started shaking so badly it almost crashed whenever passing directly above him).
** After he tuned a violin for a friend, it emitted a [[{{Kiai}} shrieking sound that could paralyze people]].
* ''The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra'' mostly takes real instruments and depicts them this way. A few instruments are original, such as the String Tuba and the Yo-Bow.
* [[Franchise/TheSmurfs Harmony Smurf]] once got tricked by Gargamel into giving a ''Turlusiphon'' recital to the smurfs, the instrument's dark power plunging them into an irreversible magical coma. Upon reading into the evil sorceror's tome of the permanent effect, he gives them one last trumpet sendoff, his [[DreadfulMusician horrible playing]] proving ''stronger'' than the curse and waking them all up. "Your music is bad enough to wake up the dead!" Indeed it was.
** The AnimatedAdaptation of the story refers to it as a shazalakazoo.
* A ''Franchise/StarTrek'' comic introduced the Elisiar, a device with three horseshoe-shaped keyboards and a mobius-strip of xylophone bars.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The traveling merchant who sells musical instruments in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfsAndTheMagicFlute'' produces one while showing of his wares. He even admits that he doesn't know what it is but says it sure makes a lot of noise.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Some of the instruments played by the band in the cantina at Mos Eisley in ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/ANewHope''.
* ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' has one of the more twisted examples: prisoners are in a cage, and you press the keys to make sticks jab them in various places, with the music being their cries of pain. (You kind of have to hear it to understand how this could sound like music, but it does.)
** There are rumors of real life instruments like that, but usually with cats instead of humans.
* ''Film/{{Barbarella}}'': The Excessive Machine, although music-wise it's quite similar to a pipe organ. But making music was never its [[OutWithABang primary purpose]], anyway...

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'s'' holophonor (below) is based on Creator/IsaacAsimov's visi-sonor from ''[[{{Foundation}} The Foundation Trilogy]]''.
* Many examples in the Creator/DrSeuss books, to the point that Seussaphone might be a good alternate title.
* In Creator/MichaelMoorcock's novels, the decadent and cruel Melniboneens have certain slaves [[AndIMustScream surgically modified]] so they can utter only a single tone each. They only make an instrument when a large group of them is assembled into a chorus.
* The ''Franchise/StarTrekNovelVerse'' novel ''Literature/ASingularDestiny'' features most of the instruments mentioned in the TV series (and the Elisar from the comics) played either by the folk group The A. C. Walden Medicine Show, or the jam sessions on the ''USS Aventine''. The book also introduces the ''jirvik'' and Saar string, sadly without defining them.
* In ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', a pipe organ created by [[BunglingInventor Bloody Stupid Johnson]] is so complicated and laden with special effects that only the Librarian can properly play it, with all four limbs. It also happens to be crosslinked with a fancy bath in another building, unbeknownst to anyone.
** In ''Soul Music'', Cliff the troll drums on rocks, carefully selected and chipped to produce desired notes. Glod the dwarf plays a battle horn, and Imp plays a sort of Ur-guitar with a solid body [[spoiler: that's actually the instrument that produced the notes which started the universe]].
* Walter Moers' ''Literature/TheThirteenAndAHalfLivesOfCaptainBluebear'' features Qwerty, a gelatinous blob prince from another dimension, who relates that in his home dimension there music instruments are made from milk.
* In Tanith Lee's ''Kill The Dead'', Myal's instrument is a bizarre contraption resembling a lute with two fretboards, each one hollow and holed, with a flute's mouthpiece attached to it. Pressing the strings also covers up the flute-holes, changing the pitch of both at once and making it virtually impossible to play. [[spoiler: Turns out it wasn't ''designed'' to be played at all, but was cobbled together from some broken pieces by a con man. Myal only learned to play the thing because his guardian, outraged at having been suckered into buying the thing, beat the boy black and blue until he found a way.]]
* In the {{Spellsinger}} novels, Jon-Tom's duar is a double-necked guitar in which the two sets of strings cross over one another. When used for spellsinging, some of its strings start fading in and out, as if crossing into another dimension.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''EarthFinalConflict'' has "tubes", a Taelon musical instrument which also has something of a holographic visual accompaniment.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has bunches of them:
** The Vulcan Lyre. It is used in ''The Original Series'', ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'', ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration The Next Generation]]'', and ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]''. The same type of instrument is also used by the Bajorans and the Risians in ''Deep Space Nine''. Considering it's just a regular lyre with some non-functional bits added, it has the added benefit of actually working.
** The Aldean Musical Instrument from ''The Next Generation''. It's played essentially by telepathy, touching pads on the instrument and ''thinking of'' the note you want.
** The Agolian chimes: a ceremonial instrument that resembles overgrown wind chimes but played with small hammers, like a xylophone. ''The Next Generation''.
** Bajoran instruments: three of them, the Cabasa, the Bajoran gong and the Bajoran rattle are used during the birth of a child to relax the mother. Other, more performance-oriented instruments are the the Bajoran drum, the Bajoran harp, and the Belaklavion. All were used in ''Deep Space Nine''.
** The Enaran whatsit is another telepathic instrument. Instead of a touch pad, it has a hemispherical crystal contact ball. You think at it and it plays. It shows up only in ''Voyager''.
** Several Klingon instruments: the Klingon concertina (which can also be used as a weapon), the Klingon drum and the Klingon guitar. All of these show up only on ''Deep Space Nine''.
** The Kriosian whatsit: a cross between a big xylophone and and a really big set of marimbas. Picard learns to play one in ''The Next Generation''.
** Mavig's Harp, a stringed thingy that looks sort of like a steering wheel, played by one of the hippie-analogues from the episode "The Way to Eden" in ''The Original Series''. It is used only once.
** The Trill piano comes in portable and standard models. The portable ones look like small synthesizers, the big ones look more like a couple of old-style chord organs mooshed together.
** That stack of slate some alien was playing in the first episode of ''Deep Space Nine''.
** Despite looking realistic, Picard's Ressikan flute from "The Inner Light" was a non-playable prop. The actual melody was provided by a much skinnier pennywhistle.
* The instrument in the ''Munchausen'' movie may have been inspired, if that's the word, by the mouse organ from ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', which consisted of mice strapped to a rack which (supposedly) squeaked musical notes when struck with hammers.
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Dalek", the Doctor is trying to persuade his captor not to hold an unidentified alien artifact the way he is doing. When somebody finally pays attention to what he is saying and asks whether the artifact is dangerous, he replies, "No, it just looks silly like that," and reveals it to be a Xenophone.
* In ''TheGoonShow'' spinoff short film ''The Case of the Mukkinese Battlehorn'', the eponymous MacGuffin is a large and ridiculously convoluted antique horn.
* ''PhilOfTheFuture'':
-->'''Keely:''' I don't know why I thought I could play the flute. You ever play an instrument?\\
'''Phil:''' Yeah, phyble.\\
'''Keely:''' Did you blow in it? Are there strings? Did you hit it?\\
'''Phil:''' Exactly. All those things.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' brings us the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCumzdtaA7w porkarina]], which is supposed to re-create the incidental music in ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies'', ''Series/GreenAcres'', and ''Series/PetticoatJunction'' that sounded like a pig grunting.
* The Minbari, of ''Series/BabylonFive'', use a triangular wooden frame with symmetrical rows of hanging bells (Like a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skrabalai Skrabalai]]) in their religious rituals. The sound it makes cannot accurately be described without sounding like you're on acid.

* Music/{{Animusic}} creates a wide variety of fantastic (in both senses of the word) instruments for their music videos, ranging from balls being shot out of pipes, to lasers, to odd and automated machines, to some gigantic, Frankensteinian conglomeration of string instruments.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''TheMuppetShow''
** In an episode, Crazy Harry plays the explodaphone.
** A recurring Muppet, [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Marvin_Suggs Marvin Suggs]], plays the Muppaphone.
* On ''TheBananaSplits'', Fleagle had the Calliopasaxaviatrumparimbaclaribasotrombaphone.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Silverodeon from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': part organ, part anything-you-can-fit-in-there. Also, the musical notation used in the series is quite otherworldly.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Jade plays the eclectic bass. It resembles an electric bass guitar, but with multiple necks and built-in keyboard synths. Only Jade's dream self can play it properly, because only her dream self can grow the necessary extra arms.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The holophonor from ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', which creates its own visual accompaniment. It's so difficult that only a few humans can play it, and most of them aren't that good at it.
* ''WesternAnimation/DaveTheBarbarian'' plays the Garglepipes, mostly to annoy Candy.
* The "invented instrument" with no other name that Carlos created in an episode of ''Literature/TheMagicSchoolBus''. He adds all sorts of bells and whistles on it, leading to Mrs. Frizzle to give a lesson on sound, and ''why'' it doesn't work.
* Most of the instruments in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' are real Asian instruments, but then there's the tsungi horn, which has a funny name on top of being completely fictional.
* ''WesternAnimation/ACharlieBrownChristmas'': Schroeder's toy piano, capable of imitating a grand piano and a ''pipe organ.''
* Quite a few positively psychotic examples from Creator/DrSeuss's ''Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas''.
* The assorted junk-assembled instruments played by the Junkyard Gang from ''FatAlbert''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeusaphone Zeusaphone]], a.k.a. the Thoremin. It's a Tesla coil that plays music. Loudly.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bazooka_(instrument) Bazooka]], invented by radio comedian Bob Burns and popularized in the 1930's, lent its name to a UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo rocket launcher. Would be the TropeNamer if it wouldn't lead to too much confusion with the anti-tank weapon, the bubble gum, or one of many euphemisms for breasts.
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin invented the Glass Armonica, sort of a cross between a lathe and those guys who play wine glasses by running a moistened finger along their rims.
** It was erroneously believed that either lead content in the glass (not present in any real quantity) or the strange sounds of the instrument itself would [[BrownNote drive the player mad]]. This urban legend aside, the armonica fell out of favor due to its [[LoudnessWar delicate sound not being able to be heard over other instruments in a concert setting]].
* The {{Theremin}} (aka termenvox) is a proximity detector turned into instrument and a trope of its own. A classical source of the creepy woo-woo music found in almost all classic SciFi and Horror.
* And its counterpart for lots of SciFi made a few years on either side of 1980, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blaster_Beam Blaster Beam]]. Ironically, the Blaster Beam is less xeno than many of the items on this page, being little more than a very, ''very'' large lap steel guitar.
* Music/BlueManGroup has put together many odd contraptions, most of them based on the principle of the bamboo xylophone, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-nzQg97uUs the drumbone]].
* Apparently, the original "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazen_bull Brazen Bull]]" was an [[IncrediblyLamePun instrument of murder]]: a bound prisoner would be forced inside, the only supply of air linked to a horn. Then the outside would be roasted, and the prisoner's screams as he was being cooked alive would sound like the lows of a bull.
* The many invented musical instruments of Music/PDQBach, as made up by Peter Schickele. The hardart, covered in little glass doors you put money in to get out percussion tools (in a concerto for horn and hardart, which is a shout-out to the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horn_and_Hardart automat chain of that name]]). The left-handed sewer flute. The double-reed slide music stand. The dill piccolo. The ''lasso de amore''.
** ''The Definitive Biography of P.D.Q. Bach'' tells of the Pandemonium, described by its inventor, Ludwig Zahnstocker (Music/PDQBach was his apprentice at the time), as "the loudest instrument ever created upon the earth." A cross-section diagram shows an organ pipe, two cannonballs, a percussion cap, a plate of glass, and a number of other noise-producing parts -- the complete instrument would have 25 of each.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Partch Harry Partch]] made numerous instruments out of junk and scrap parts and composed pieces for them.
** To single out some of the more unusual examples, the Zymo-Xyl (made of tuned hubcaps and liquor bottles), the Blowboy (an exhaust pipe welded to a set of bellows), and the Spoils of War (an elaborate percussion setup whose components include a cloud chamber bowl, artillery shell casings, and a gourd).
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondog Louis "Moondog" Hardin]] composed for orchestra, but also for several instruments he built and played on street corners, when he wasn't busy writing poetry or sewing his own clothes. Oh, and he was blind most of his life.
* LesLuthiers is widely known for this, though it has decreased through years. Most memorable are a 4 ft. long trombone and a violin made out of Tuna cans.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulophone hydraulophone]] and related instruments.
* Argentine comedian Hugo Varela is famous for his musical routines which involves lots of funny-looking musical instruments made entirely of scrap material or unusual things like a ''chamberpot''. And they sound incredibly well, to boot.
* The "old school" of the {{Industrial}} genre was notorious for the use of these, most often as percussion; hence, the semi-derisive nickname "metal-bangers". See Music/EinsturzendeNeubauten, with ''Concerto For Voice And Machinery'' being particularly righteous.
** {{KMFDM}} hired laid-off steel workers to bang on steel support beams in the hall where they played their first concert.
** Neighborhood Texture Jam uses oil drums, hubcaps, corrugated metal, and and other found objects as auxiliary percussion.
* There is [[http://chalmersbarockensemble.se/eng/index.html a student symphony orchestra in Göteborg, Sweden]], that ends all their concertos with the same piece. It's called "Joke". Its most distinctive feature is that the percussion consists of a toilet being smashed to pieces.
** See also George Maciunas' "Piece For Piano"...
* The Sewerphone created by Eric Nagler, as seen on Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show. This thing used plumbing pipe, with a ''washing machine agitator'' as a bell.
* The experimental rock group SleepytimeGorillaMuseum loves this trope. Alongside conventional rock and orchestral instruments, a look through their album booklets reveals such custom-made wonders as: percussion guitar, lever-action lever, pancreas (electric), tangularium, Valhalla, Vatican, pedal-action wiggler, roach, sledgehammer-dulcimer/slide-piano log, thing, popping turtle, pressure-cap marimba, and spring-nail guitar.
* There are a couple of 1998 albums, ''Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones'' and its sequel, ''Orbitones, Bellowphones, and Spoonharps'' that are samples of these sorts of instruments. Great fun if you can find them.
* Bowed hand saws produce a theremin-like "woo woo" sound.
* The Bowed Piano Ensemble. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y6kXnc9llw Listen here]].
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trautonium Trautonium]]
* Tuvan throat singing uses the human voice to this effect.
* The Presidents of the United States of America are a RockTrio, but only the drummer has a traditional instrument: one plays a basitar (a guitar with two bass strings) and another a guitbass (a guitar with only three strings).
** When Music/WeirdAlYankovic parodied their song, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQwWaWFjd0Y on the video]] he played a one stringed bass, while the guitarist uses a two stringed "guitar".
* Parodic version: in his college years, Brazilian comedian Bussunda [[TagalongKid was added to a band]] "playing" Rubik's Cube (!), with the bandmembers stating he was "the [[Music/{{Wings}} Linda McCartney]] of the band". After Bussunda created a comedic group, and said group started musical operations, one of the members "played" the Rubik's Cube as well.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2t5CpIMZQk Kitara]], no not [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Katara]], is a synthesizer made for guitarists. It gained more attention when Music/{{Muse}} used it for their song "Madness".