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Arts, Travel & Entertainment / Classical Music and Musicians


Subject:  Name This Musical Instrument Date:  3/7/2008  4:52 PM
Author:  Myownigloo Number:  2122 of 2141

There's a guy at the BART station lately who's playing a musical instrument I have never seen.

It looks like a miniature pirate ship, kind of, without the sails. The "prow" of the ship has a (wooden) head sticking out of it, kind of like a knob.

The stern of the ship has a crank handle on it.

It has strings strung across the deck over a big hole in the center of the deck.

It is held with the bottom of the boat against the guy's stomach while he is sitting down, prow on his left and stern on his right. He turns the crank while manipulating some little keys -- more like upside-down wooden trumpet keys -- that are to one side of the strings. When the instrument is held sideways, the keys are underneath the strings.

It sounds like an Irish instruments, in that the music he is playing sounds like music that you'd hear when someone is doing a jig.

The crank seems to make a droning sound like a bagpipe.

I'd ask the guy, but he's busy playing it and making a living and I'm usually rushing to work when I pass him.

Go ahead. Give it a try.

Extra points for linking to a photo of it.

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