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Listening to the radio might give you the idea that the guitar, bass, keyboard and drums are the end-all and be-all of musical instruments. But at Oddmusic, located at, you'll discover an alternate soundscape populated by Gravikords, Triolins and Guitorgans.

The site was created in 1999 as the outgrowth of an online discussion group devoted to ethnic, experimental, or homegrown instruments such as the Beer Bottle Organ. If you're wondering what kind of sound is produced by an organ that uses real beer bottles instead of pipes, enter the Oddmusic Instrument Gallery to see a picture and download a sample tune.

There are other must-see creations in the gallery, like the MegaBass Waterphone - a set of bronze rods that can be used for calling whales - and a contraption made from the frame of a ten-speed bicycle called a Bikelophone.

No exploration of experimental music would be complete without the Theremin, the granddaddy of futuristic electronic noise makers, and Oddmusic doesn't disappoint with its history of the instrument, including a page from the device's orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall, and an interview with its inventor, Leon Theremin.

The features section also delves into the world of Circuit Bent Instruments, which are artworks as much as plastic toys that have been hacked for alien sounds.

Back on this planet, Oddmusic offers an extensive glossary page that describes everything from the Egyptian Aud to the European Zampona.

Over in the links section there's a trove of online musical diversions, and you're sure to be lured by the call of, a high-pitched website about tin whistles.

But before leaving, browse the Oddmusic store for its selection of books that will teach you how to design musical instruments. You'll be making a four-necked guitar and bamboo saxophones in no time.

- Noah Robischon
Entertainment Weekly

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