This Newly-Invented Instrument Can Create Music That Sounds Like Nothing Else.

There are a lot of musical instruments out there. Cultures from around the world have, for thousands of years, created music-making implements and developing musical styles. Lately, musical exploration has taken to the digital realm, with synthesizers that can not only replicate the sounds of traditional instruments, but can create all kinds of other sounds as well, heralding a new era of music production that some think opens all kinds of artistic doors, and some lament as the end of “quality” music.

The Yaybahar can be bowed like a traditional string instrument.

Of course, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. That’s what Görkem Sen discovered with his invention of the Yaybahar, a large, stringed instrument that can be used to create a range of spacey, eerily beautiful noises that sound like they should be coming from a computer, but are made using no electricity at all. The Yaybahar’s range is impressive, and it can be used to create traditional-sounding music as well as vast soundscapes that wouldn’t sound out of place in a science fiction movie. 

The Yaybahar features horizontal spring cords, which are struck with a mallet; vertical strings that are strummed and plucked; and two “feet” that are drummed. This makes the instrument a hybrid of string and percussion (like a piano), and something that can create a large range of sounds. The director of the video in which Sen plays the Yaybahar, Olgu Demir, explains the instrument as “natural source coded materials which are membrane, coiled spring and string working together. Maybe we can say that this is a new bridge system between string and resonant body.”

It can also be drummed.

You can listen to more of the Yaybahar’s music on Soundcloud, and, if you speak Turkish, you can see Sen giving a TEDx talk and playing a similar, though smaller, stringed instrument. (Even if you don’t speak Turkish, you can listen to the music anyway.)

Via Colossal|The Creators Project

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