83 Inspiriting Facts About Musical Instruments That’ll Stir Your Heart

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1Hindenburg piano

Hindenburg piano

An aluminum grand piano was built in the lounge of the airship Hindenburg. It weighed only 356 pounds.

2. As part of a marketing campaign in 2012, Nestle posted a photo on Instagram of a person in a bear costume playing drums, using Kit Kats as drum sticks. Nestle removed the photo shortly afterward amid controversy that it looked like "Pedobear".

3. A mysterious mute man named Andreas Grassl was found wandering the streets of England in 2005. He could only communicate via piano.

4. Ray Charles, not only played the piano blind but was also a keen chess player. His white and black squares had different elevation, and the pieces were shaped differently depending on the color.

5. Sir Richard Branson's only attempt as a music producer was a novelty record called "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" that consisted of sheep baa-ing over a drum machine track. It reached #42 on the UK charts in 1982.

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6David Bowie

David Bowie

David Bowie played guitar, piano, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, vibraphone, xylophone, koto, drums, viola and cello.

7. The drumbeat played during the invasion sequence in Independence Day (1996) spells out "D-I-E" in Morse Code.

8. The Cat Organ was a 16th-century piano-type contraption which was played by a trained bear by yanking the tails of cats in order to create music.

9. John Bonham's live drum solo on "Moby Dick" would get so intense his sticks would break and he'd continue playing with his hands, occasionally drawing blood.

10. During the Chinese Sparrow extermination campaign, the Polish Embassy refused to allow Chinese to kill the Sparrows hiding in their complex, so the Chinese waited outside hitting drums for two days straight until all the sparrows died of exhaustion.

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11Leon Theremin

Leon Theremin

Leon Theremin invented the Rhythmicon, the world's first drum-machine in 1931.

12. George Clinton doesn't know who played guitar for one of Funkadelic's greatest guitar solos, "Get Off Your A*s and Jam" (1975). The mystery guitarist was a white heroin addict who asked to sit in and was paid $50.

13. Eric Clapton once showed up drunk to George Harrison's house, silently handed him a guitar and amp, and the two had a musical duel for 2 hours.

14. In 1969, Willie Nelson ran into a burning house to save his guitar, and a pound of Cannabis.

15. Jack White of the White Stripes was saving Seven Nation Army's guitar riff in case he got asked to do a James Bond theme.

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16Dimebag Darrell

Dimebag Darrell

Dimebag Darrell once asked Eddie Van Halen for a copy of his guitar "Bumblebee" from the cover of Van Halen II. Eddie said yes but forgot. After Dimebag was killed, he turned up at the viewing with the original and it is now buried with him.

17. Derek Amato is one of just 30 “acquired savants” worldwide. After being taken to the hospital with a serious concussion from a diving accident, he sat down at a piano and discovered he was a musical genius.

18. When German fighter ace Hans-Joachim Marseille was asked to play the piano in front of Hitler, he played a forbidden jazz song.

19. In 1970's, Chuck Berry toured with only a guitar, finding some local bands for each show. He was confident that he could hire a band that already knew his music. He did not even give them a set list and just expected the musicians to follow his lead.

20. Demetri Martin would play guitar and have music playing in the background of his comedy specials so Comedy Central couldn't edit his set.

21Literary piano

Literary piano

One of the first typewriters was initially called a "Literary piano."

22. Actor Joe Pesci started as a singer, guitar player and played in the same band as Jimi Hendrix.

23. Rock musician Chuck Berry created Berry Park in Missouri, his own rock n roll themed amusement park with a guitar shaped swimming pool, in response to the whites-only country clubs from where he was once excluded.

24. The guitar playing in the Metalocalypse show is 100% animated accurately. Animation of the characters on the show fretting guitar solos actually corresponds to the notes they're playing.

25. Bob Marley was buried with his red Gibson guitar, a bible opened to Psalm 23, and a bud of marijuana.

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