Buzz-a-Phone 0


(1993-01-85) Donated by Carroll Bratman The Buzz-a-Phone was built by the legendary New York xylophonist, percussionist, and recording artist William “Billy” Dorn. The provenance of this unique instrument is...

Learn More
Leedy Timp-Bass 0

Leedy Timp-Bass

Donated by Carroll Bratman During the 1920s and ’30s, novelty instruments were the rage of radio and the stage. Although not strictly a percussion instrument, this ‘Timp-Bass’ is an upright...

Learn More
Max Kohl Tuning Fork Clock 0

Max Kohl Tuning Fork Clock

(2008-05-01) Donated by the Yamaha Corporation of America. The tuning fork clock was first described by N. Niaudet on December 10, 1866 and subsequently displayed at an exhibition in Paris in 1867. As a...

Learn More
Deagan Musical Rattles Comments Off on Deagan Musical Rattles

Deagan Musical Rattles

(1997-04-04) Donated by the Celeste and Emil Richards Estate. Among the novelty items the J. C. Deagan Company manufactured early in the 20th century were pitched Musical Rattles. These rattles consist of a...

Learn More
Flex-a-tone Comments Off on Flex-a-tone


  (2005-02-01 and 2005-02-02) Donated by Deane Prouty Invented by William Bartholomae, of New York, NY, the Flex-a-tone was patented in the United States as a musical toy on May 1, 1923. It was then...

Learn More
Sticks and Mallets 0

Sticks and Mallets

Sticks and mallets are a primary means of creating tonal variations on percussion instruments. Different sizes and materials often produce quite individual sounds for individual performers. An examination of...

Learn More
Timbrack Comments Off on Timbrack


The Timbrack is a unique instrument designed and built in 1977 by Michael Udow in collaboration with the Premier Drum Company’s chief of research and development, Peter Spenlove. The instrument, constructed...

Learn More
Waterphones Comments Off on Waterphones


Invented and patented by multi-media artist, musician and kinetic sculptor Richard Waters, the Waterphone is a unique instrument that blends the principals of a Tibetan water drum, a kalimba and a...

Learn More
Boobams Comments Off on Boobams


Boobams (bamboo reversed syllabically) are tuned bongos constructed with a shell of natural bamboo. The available width and depth of the shell, which contributes to the desired pitch, is limited only by the...

Learn More
Lithophone Comments Off on Lithophone


(1996-06-06) Donated by the Celeste and Emil Richards Estate. A lithophone is a pitched percussion instrument having keys (or bars) made of stone. Early instruments of this type, called pien-ch’ing, are first...

Learn More
Sound Sculpture by Pinuccio Sciola Comments Off on Sound Sculpture by Pinuccio Sciola

Sound Sculpture by Pinuccio Sciola

(2002-10-01) Donated by the Celeste and Emil Richards Estate. The practice of creating musical instruments that are also artistic works has been common throughout the ages. Some familiar examples are the...

Learn More
Tuned Woodblocks Comments Off on Tuned Woodblocks

Tuned Woodblocks

  (1993-01-48) Donated by Carroll Bratman As a percussionist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini for 11 years, a member of the Sousa and Pryor Bands, and a staff musician for major...

Learn More