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New Musical Instruments

By Venessa Wong - 2011-11-02T20:26:33Z

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The Inspiring and Inventive

Russian inventor Leon Theremin struggled to commercialize his eponymous electronic musical device in the 1920s, building appeal but never quite gaining mainstream traction. Individuals pioneering new technologies to create music face a hurdle unchanged from Theremin's time: Most musicians who have spent decades refining their skills on traditional instruments don't want to master unfamiliar ones. That hasn't stopped entrepreneurs and engineers from persevering. In this slide show, we explore 10 new instruments at different stages of their commercial development. Don't miss the gizmo that turns a kitchen whisk into an electronic instrument, the bassoon-shaped Eigenharp, or the Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee.

For more stories on entrepreneurs changing the music business, see our special report.