Globular Horns

(Click on any picture to see an enlargement.)

Globular Horn Globular horn w/ resonator Hybrid glob horn w/ resonator Globutubular Horn

Globular horns are a very uncommon instrument. Technically, they are a family of buzzed-lip aerophones, related to trumpets and horns in the same way that ocarinas, or globular flutes, are related to tubular flutes. However, although a technical rationale and category exists for them, I have not yet encountered any other instruments of this form. The globular horns I have built are low pitched, and can be played in a manner similar to a didjeridu. Finger holes can be added to change the pitch. I have built a few globular horns like the second example above that incorporate a goatskin membrane which increases their resonance through sympathetic vibrations, and also permits them to be played as a drum at the same time as they are being blown into. Another cool playing technique is the "buzz" (sound sample below) that is achieved by touching your finger to the vibrating membrane while blowing into the horn.

The third and fourth examples above are globutubular horns, a hybrid of globular and tubular instruments. Their bodies are combinations of globular air chambers and tubular air columns. These horns exhibit some sound and playing characteristics of each of their parents. The larger globutubular horns typically produce deep drones, similar to a didjeridu of much greater length, but with a more hollow tone that is characteristic of a globular horn.

Read an article I wrote about globular horns for the Journal of Experimental Musical Instruments.

Sound files (press each speaker icon below to hear the sounds):

Hear a hybrid globular-tubular horn

Hear a globu-tubular horn with resonator

Hear a globu-tubular horn with resonator played as a drum and a horn

Hear the "buzz technique" on a globu-tubular horn with resonator

Hear an excerpt of "US Clay" photo of US Clay instruments

"Globularity", a song performed on a variety of globular horns

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