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.” 1)





A music collective based in New York 2)


“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.” 3)

Instruments Make Play

Instruments Make Play is a collection of instrument builders. The website also hosts a yearly festival in the Netherlands. 4)

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