(Image Above: Martin Koenig on the Balalaika Web Site)
Everyone these days seems to look up to a guy who plays a guitar or a friend who rocks out on the drums. These instruments have some magical capability to endow their player with charm, allure, and interest. But what about other music-making devices? Why does no one acknowledge their splendor? In an effort to bring these overlooked instruments the recognition they deserve, this week’s Top Ten is devoted to Underappreciated Musical Instruments.
10. Bagpipes. That endless drone and those reedy notes have got a way about them.
9. Rackett. Some sort of Renaissance-Baroque instrument, but I bet it’s a terrible thing to listen to.
8. Didgeridoo. Oldest wind instrument that history can recall.
7. Accordion. Best when played by some old Frenchman in the winding streets of St.-Germain-de-Pres.
6. Heckelphone. For when you feel nostalgia for your overbearing mother.
5. Harmonica. There must be a reason that the sound of “harmony” is in their name.
4. Gongs. I bet the Beach Boys loved them, because they give off really good vibrations.
3. Banjo. That arpeggiated plucking makes me weak at the knees.
2. Lyre. Do people even play this any more? Know anyone named Orpheus? Perhaps he knows the answer.
1. Balalaika. Because it makes me think of baklava. Mmmm.
Do you know any other instruments that don’t get their fair share of attention?