Tips for Classical Musicians

Rarely Used Orchestral Instruments

Written on November 15, 2017   By   in Classical Music Facts

A lot of composers throughout the years have pushed the boundaries of classical music by writing part of a song using new instruments. Unfortunately, not all of them have been famous and lasted so long as a fixture in the orchestra. Some of these instruments includes the following:


Prepared Piano

Since the romantic period, classical writers have been composing piano concertos. Ever since that time, piano concertos has been one of the most popular orchestral arrangements. Maverick American then had this idea of making a piano with things inserted among the strings and hammers in order to give a regular piano a range of bizarre tones.



This is invented by Welhelm Heckel, a German instrument maker. This instrument is a cross between an oboe and a bassoon. It made its first appearance in the classical music industry during the 1900s. During those times, it is often listed under the name of “bass oboe” but the name was also given to a similar instrument causing a big confusion. Eventually, this instrument was singled out by Richard Strauss.



This instrument was created in honor of a French military bandleader. Originally, it was made as a replacement for relatively quieter woodwind instruments in military bands. This instrument caught a glimpse of popularity during the 1900s when famous composers wrote parts for it in some of their works.


Glass Armonica

This instrument involves a revolving set of glass cups which makes a shimmering sound when played with fingers. Although considered a very obscure instrument, a number of famous composers have used this instrument as a part of their pieces.



In the 1920s, this instrument is known for giving off spooky, high-pitched droning sound which is used as soundtracks for classic sci-fi movies.


Wagner Tuba

Commonly known as Wagnertuben, this instrument was invented at the request of Richard Wagner. This became popular in the 19th century which is used to fill tonal spaces between trombone, tuba, and French horn.

, , ,