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Listed under:  Arts  >  Music  >  Sound sources  >  Musical instruments
Interactive resource

Zou ba! What musical instruments can you play?

Explore the Chinese words for musical instruments. Find out how to ask questions such as ‘Can you play the guitar?’.


'Iceman' electric guitar , 1996-98

This is an Ibanez Iceman electric guitar made in Japan between 1996 and 1998. It features an irregularly shaped mahogany body with a 'galactic green' finish and a white star pattern. The case (not shown) is made of black fabric over ply and has sustained extensive damage. The lining of the case is dark velour fabric. The ...


World rhythms: tabla

This is a teaching and learning activity to construct and play a tabla or tube-la (double drum). The activity provides a brief history of the tabla, information about the materials needed to make it, time required, assessment strategies, the construction process, how to play the instrument and extension ideas. Tabla artefacts ...

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The symphonic sculpture of Pantha du Prince

Discover what happens when you mix computers and live musicians to generate exciting new performances. This clip features the music of Berlin-based musician Pantha du Prince (Hendrik Weber) and his collaboration with The Bell Laboratory from Norway. They combine an experimental approach to computer-generated music with ...


Tibetan ceremonial bell, 18th century

This is a brass Tibetan ceremonial bell known as a 'drilbu'. It was made in Tibet between 1700 and 1800. The body of the bell features ornate decoration, a tall handle with a circular hollow middle, a face on one side and a crowned top. Inside the bell a metal loop holds a long rusted metal clapper.


Angus Young's Gibson guitar, 1992

This is a Gibson SG custom-model electric guitar used by and autographed by Angus Young of the Australian rock band AC/DC. The guitar has a solid timber body with black enamel finish and a timber neck with an ebony fretboard. Young has autographed the guitar in silver ink on the pick guard: 'A Young. AC/DC'. The manufacturer's ...


Violin made by Arthur Hodgson, 1936

This is a timber violin made by Arthur Hodgson in Paramatta, New South Wales, in 1936. The belly is highly arched with two long irregular f-holes cut into it, and it appears to have been made from a single piece of timber, possibly pine or spruce. Ribs and back are constructed from a single solid piece of timber, which ...


Square piano, 1835-38

This is a square piano with a six-octave compass from F to F, made between 1835 and 1838. It is thought to have been made by Collard and Collard, London, and it has a decorative nameplate that reads: 'Manufactured Expressly for F. ELLARD Sydney'. The piano has a solid timber case with a fold-back lid, which can be supported ...


Radcliff-system piccolo used by Richard Chugg, 1913

This is a Radcliff-system piccolo of sharp pitch made by Rudall Carte of London in 1913 and used by Richard Chugg. It is made of cocus wood and has silver keys.


Miniature bagpipes, 1952

These are plastic miniature bagpipes with a bright red Scottish tartan print bag and a set of parts, manufactured from plastic by Magnus Harmonica Corporation, USA. The set of parts includes the bag, drones, blowpipe and the chanter. The miniature bagpipes have three drones, which are light-brown marbled plastic with ribbed ...


Cole's Book Arcade symphonion, c1890

This video features curator David Demant exploring the workings of a symphonion (a mechanical music player) that had been used in the Cole's Book Arcade in around 1890. It is now in the Museum Victoria collection. The video's duration is 3 min 5 sec.

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My Place - Episode 23: 1788: Waruwi, Little drummer boy

Waruwi takes Dan's boots while he is in the water but does not find them to be very comfortable. Observing the camp of the marines, Waruwi is fascinated by one of their musical instruments.

Teacher resource

Getting Started with the Ukulele

This is an online teaching and learning resource on how to play the ukulele, featuring 14 scaffolded activities presented in three parts, ranging from learning parts of the ukulele and basic chords to developing skills, reading sheet music and performing for an audience. Each lesson is accompanied by up to three short instructional ...

Teacher resource

Sing, scat and scoo be doo

This is a resource about making music and scatting through singing, speaking, moving, dancing, playing and creating. It includes three videos featuring Susie Davies-Splitter presenting various songs to sing and move to and demonstrating scatting, as well as two audio tracks, an interactive xylophone, a xylophone template ...

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A journey into world music

From Japanese drumming to African choirs, there is a wide world of music to be enjoyed beyond mainstream pop music in Australia. Music from one culture will often sound very different to music from another, using varied musical styles and instruments. Come along on a musical journey and explore the increasingly popular ...

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Is there a DJ in da house?

Do you want to be a famous DJ? Listen to how Aussie-grown DJ Tyson 'tyDi' Illingworth hit the big time in Los Angeles.

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Creating music from guns

Discover why an artist makes musical instruments from guns as we take a look at Mexican artist Pedro Reyes's exhibition 'Disarm' at NGV International, the National Gallery of Victoria. Reyes has, with the help of local artisans, constructed instruments using parts from weapons confiscated by the Mexican government.

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Improvising music from recycled materials

Discover the story behind the dan tre, a unique musical instrument made from bamboo and recycled materials. It was created by Vietnamese refugee Minh Tam Nguyen. He later generously donated the instrument to the Australian people, which has enabled us to hear his story. Find out why the dan tre carries special significance ...

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Interview with a virtuoso violinist

In this interview by radio presenter Andrew Ford, discover why Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos mixes elements of Romani (Gypsy) music with classical music and jazz. This is the second in a series of two clips.

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Lively live music

Have you ever wanted to play like a virtuoso, a master of musical technique or skill? See an amazing live performance of 'Ket Gitar' by Hungarian master violinist Roby Lakatos and pianist Frantisek Janoska. Roby Lakatos is a Romani musician who mixes Hungarian Romani music with classical and jazz. This is the first in a ...