On this page I plan to make a reading list that includes books published by the various makers in this wiki as well as books about those makers and the instruments they build. This page will also include a section on books that demonstrate instrument building theory and methods that are relevant to making musical instruments.

Competitions & Events

The Instrument Builders Project

Instrument Builders Project is a forum for experimental work – at the intersection of contemporary art, sound and music, and performance – engaging artists from Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Each IBP culminates in new and experimental works in the form of ‘instruments’.


Guthman Musical Instrument Invention Competition

The Guthman Competition is held every year at Georgia Tech and frequently features instruments and makers that are on this wiki. The idea of the competition is to show off innovations in musical instrument invention.

Powsolo Awards

The Powsolo award started in 2020 and is an award competition for sound sculptures.

Instruments Make Play Festival

Instruments Make Play Festival 2) is a festival about self invented musical instruments in the form of concerts, an exchange, workshops, exhibitions, residencies and much more. In November and December 2017 we had our first edition in three cities; Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Deventer. The festival is initiated, programmed and produced by Lukas Simonis, Julie Dassaud and Harco Rutgers.


Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments

“Since the taxonomical work of Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs in the early twentieth century, organologists have classified musical instruments into four major categories, each distinguished by its primary sound-producing mechanism: idiophones (vibrating body), membranophones (vibrating membrane), chordophones (vibrating strings) and aerophones (vibrating air columns). Beyond these basic divisions, scholars have proposed such logically consistent additions as electrophones (for electronic instruments) and corpophones (for the human body as a source of sound). We propose a seventh category: fictophones, for imaginary musical instruments. Existing as diagrams, drawings or written descriptions, these devices never produce a sound. Yet they are no less a part of musical culture for that. Indeed, fictophones represent an essential if hitherto unrecognized domain of musical thought and activity, and it is in order to catalog these conceptual artifacts that we have established the first institution of its kind: the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments.” 3)





A music collective based in New York 4)


“Thingamajigs is a genre-crossing arts organization that promotes music and other art forms created with made and found materials or alternate tuning systems. Our mission is to develop and nurture the exploration of alternate materials and methods of creating sound, and promote collaborative efforts between artists and local communities. With open workshops, performances and a robust education program, we welcome audiences/participants of all ages and backgrounds to join in the tradition of Bay Area visionaries such as Harry Partch, Lou Harrison, and John Cage.” 5)

Instruments Make Play

Instruments Make Play is a collection of instrument builders. The website also hosts a yearly festival in the Netherlands. 6)

Journals and Magazines


The Xenharmonicon was a magazine that had a focus on microtonal music that ran from 1974 to 1998. 7)

Experimental Musical Instruments

EMI is by far the most comprehensive and important resource related to this wiki. Published by Bart Hopkin, the magazine features different instrument makers and their instruments, theory surrounding them, music they have made and even technical guides on how to build instruments.


American Musical Instrument Society

Galpin Society


Theory Books

Technical Books on Building Musical Instruments

Books on Various Instrument Builders

From Mud to Music

From Mud to music is about musical instrument makers who work with ceramics as their primary medium.

Makers Featured



San Francisco based gallery that prominently features musical instruments as works of art and frequently features newly invented musical instruments. 8)


Center for New Music

San Francisco based gallery and performance space. 9) Frequently called C4NM.

Musical Instrument Museum

Phoenix, Arizona

School Programs

Experimental Sound Practices


Mills College

Performance Spaces

The Wolf

Los Angeles based performance space


Machine Project

Logos Foundation

The Logos Foundation is in Ghent, Belgium and is a unique professional research and production center for experimental musics, musical robotics and audio art. 10)

books.txt · Last modified: 2022/04/05 06:04 by mete
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