Is there something wrong with me

Is there something wrong with me January 22, 2014

. . . that I do not find this irritating at all?

It sounds like a cross between one of those nutty medieval instruments — what is it called, a flageoblat or something —  and those straw kazoos we used to make.  You know how to do that, right?  Just bite down on the end of a plastic drinking straw to flatten it, cut the corners off to make a “reed” to vibrate against itself, and blow hard.  Yeah, like this:

With some experimentation, you can figure out where to cut holes to play an octave.

You can also make a straw trombone — just slightly crush the end of one straw until it fits inside another.  Cut a mouthpiece in the end of the outer straw, and slide the other straw in and out the other end as you blow.  IT IS FUN, okay?


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  • The medieval instrument you’re thinking of is the charmingly and accurately named rackett. And, yes, if you don’t find this irritating (and are not deaf), you probably have a double recessive 3 Stooges gene in your DNA someplace. Or something.

    • Jaye Baldwin

      They sound more like shawms than racketts to me.

      • Jaye Baldwin

        …which reminds me of my favorite musicological joke.

        Q: How many shawms does it take to make a rackett?

        A: It takes two shawms to make a rackett.

  • Chantal Chauvet

    Hmm, I’m having a difficult time making the drinkling straw sound. Any suggestions? And yes I find it very annoying!

  • woden325

    The continuo on the first video isn’t so bad, but the instrument playing the melody….

    The guy in the second video is on his way to re-inventing the slide tromboon.

    And, weirdly, this is the second blog comment I’ve written today referencing PDQ Bach.

  • Sue Murphy Umezaki

    Am I surprised that this video was filmed in Japan? No. I am not.

  • schaub.g

    Where do you find these things? My dogs did not like the sounds. Weird.

  • Teresa R

    Thanks to that, the 7-month old is now a big fan of your blog.