Rock musicians have been experimenting with sounds since rock began. I love that scene in Bohemian Rhapsody where they are using all sorts of everyday things to make a variety of sounds. Although we tend to think of rock music as guitars and drums with the occasional keyboard thrown in …there have been some crazy instruments used in some songs. (More cow bell please!) They add some truly interesting layers to some truly great tunes.
I have posted about the Gorillaz before. I do really love their music. (For those of you not familiar with them, the Gorillaz are a British virtual band created in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. The band primarily consists of four animated members – their videos are very artsy and their music is addictive.)
In the song Clint Eastwood they use the melodica. The melodica is a free-reed instrument similar to the pump organ and harmonica. It has a musical keyboard on top, and is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, allowing air to flow through a reed. The keyboard covers usually two or three octaves. They are popular in music education, especially in Asia. The modern form of the instrument was invented by Hohner in the 1950s, though similar instruments have been known in Italy since the 19th century. The melodica was first used as a serious musical instrument in the 1960s It is associated with reggae musician Augustus Pablo who popularized it in the 1970s’, and more recently with Jon Batiste, who is often seen playing the instrument on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.