Posted at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
Some of you might know I'm an instrument junkie. The other day, our former editor Jim found one of these in a dumpster and brought it to me:
It's called an ehru, apparently -- Chinese two-stringed bowed instrument. Especially unusual because the hair of the bow actually threads between the two strings. Some guy was throwing it out, and Jim found it by the dumpster at his building.
I used to say I don't have "good instrument luck" -- never found a beautiful vintage accordion in my attic, for instance. But I can't say that any more. This thing is cool, even though at the moment I sound like a screeching cat on it.
Surfing around today brought me to another instrument I had never heard of, but which I now deeply covet: An instrument called a Hang drum, believe it or not invented in Switzerland of all places.
Check this thing out. He picks up the Hang drum mid-way through, after messing around with the little Indian book-like thing called a Shruti Box: