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Welcome to the Experimental Musical Instruments Catalog! We're no longer selling hardware items, so the catalog is now solely devoted to our books and CDs. For hardware items, we highly recommend this new vendor: PinPegPickups.com. They’re selling the same hardware items we’ve always sold and at similar prices. You may also want to read our blog about this transition here.

Books & CDs

Last modified 3-11-2011
Showing all 17 products

Nice Noise: Preparations and Modifications for Guitar

Book by Bart Hopkin and Yuri Landman.

This is a book of book modifications, preparations and extensions you can use with acoustic and electric guitars. The focus is not on electronic effects; it’s on things you can do physically to alter the ways the strings vibrate or the soundboard projects. Whatever type or style of guitar you play – acoustic or electric; classical, jazz, rock, avant-garde or other – this book will show you new and unexpected ways to play it. In addition, audio examples illustrating the resulting sounds can be found for free online.


Price: $18.95 - Item: 429
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Musical Instrument Design

Book by Bart Hopkin, with an introduction by Jon Scoville.

A key resource for anyone interested in musical instrument making. It provides an overview of acoustic instrument design principles for acoustic instruments of all sorts loads of practical, hands-on information, generously illustrated. The tone is accessible and friendly without sacrificing seriousness of purpose. This is the only book of its kind: there are other books that offer plans for making specific instruments, but no others that provide a systematic exposition of underlying design principles as this one does.


Price: $18.95 - Item: 405
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Getting a Bigger Sound

Pickups and Microphones for your Musical Instrument

Book by Bart Hopkin with Robert Cain and Jason Lollar

This book tells you how to take the sound of a musical instrument and convert it to an electrical signal for amplification. Whether your instrument is something as familiar as an acoustic guitar or something as exotic as a recycled-junk-o-phone, you can learn here about the best options for adding a pickup or an onboard microphone to it. It includes complete how-to on pickup making, and much more.


Price: $16.95 - Item: 416
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Making Marimbas and Other Bar Percussion Instruments

Book with audio CD, by Bart Hopkin and Carl Dean with Christopher Banta

How to make bar percussion instruments of all sort, including marimbas and related instruments with sounding bars of wood, metal, bamboo, and other materials.


Price: $22.95 - Item: 424
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Making Musical Instruments with Kids

67 Easy Projects for Adults Working with Children

Book with audio CD by Bart Hopkin

This book, with its accompanying audio CD, is a treasure trove of musical instrument ideas simple enough for children to make. It’s written primarily for adults who work with children, including teachers, parents, and others involved in the lives of young people.


Price: $19.95 - Item: 425
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Wind Chimes: Design and Construction

Book with audio CD by Bart Hopkin

Complete how-to information on the making of this most accessible of instruments. Descriptions, photos and and sounds of a great many diverse types, from the familiar to the very unusual.


Price: $15.95 - Item: 419
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Slap Tubes and Other Plosive Aerophones

Book and audio CD by Phil Dadson and Bart Hopkin

The category of musical instruments known as plosive aerophones includes the end-struck tubes sometimes called slap tubes, as well as many other instrument types. These instruments can be simple to make, yet they are fully musical and they sound great. This book tells you everything you need to know to make them, with ready-to-build designs as well as the information you need to design your own.


Price: $15.95 - Item: 423
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Funny Noises for the Connoisseur

Book and audio CD by Bart Hopkin with Ray Brunelle and Vincent Nicastro

This book, with its accompanying audio CD, is about comical sounds and how to make them. Squishy sounds and gloopy sounds, farting sounds and belching sounds, laughing sounds and crying sounds, crazy-bad musical instrument sounds, Martians conversing, morticians giggling, etc., etc.


Price: $16.95 - Item: 417
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Air Columns and Toneholes: Principles for Wind Instrument Design

By Bart Hopkin

A booklet containing theory and how-to on these aspects of wind instrument design, starting with a not-too-demanding generalist’s approach and working its way through to a more exacting mathematical approach.


Price: $14.95 - Item: 402
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The Experimental Musical Instruments Wall Chart

A big 24″w x 36″h wall poster of reference information for makers and lovers of musical instruments. It includes charts showing frequency, pitch & wavelength relationships, just and tempered scales, the Sachs-Hornbostel musical instrument classification system, and much more.


Price: $10.50 - Item: 406
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Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones - Abridged version

Sorry, this item is sold out and we don’t have much hope of having more copies for sale in the foreseeable future.

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Book by Bart Hopkin with an introduction by Tom Waits, with audio CD containing recordings by 19 featured artists.

For several years this collection has been unavailable except for used copies at high prices from resellers. Just recently the publisher located a couple of boxes that had been overlooked in a corner someplace. He sent them our way and we’re making them available to you.

This collection takes the form of a 96-page, CD-sized hardbound book with audio CD bound in, featuring informative text, wonderful photographs, and great music of 19 of the most creative instrument makers from around the world.


Price: $24.95 - Item: 407a

This product has sold out.

Experimental Musical Instruments Complete Back Issues on CD-ROM

70 Issues, 1985-1999, on two CDs

All 70 issues of the late, great Experimental Musical Instruments journal, 1985-1999, on two CD-ROMs in Adobe .pdf format, at under a fifth of the price of the printed version. The content is complete and identical to the original print versions. Fourteen years’ worth of great stuff! It’s a real treasure chest.

To keep our production costs and your purchase cost for these CDs manageable, we didn’t give them all of the functionalities that many other CD-ROMs have. You can get the specifics and see sample pages by clicking “More Details” below. In addition, you can search the contents of the back issues here.


Price: $35.00 - Item: 206
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Experimental Musical Instruments, Early Years (Audio CD)

Early Years is the first of a pair of CDs containing selections from the Experimental Musical Instruments annual audio cassette series that ran from 1985 – 1999. (The otherCD, called Later Years, is described below.) The Early Years CD covers the seven years from 1985-1992. The original cassettes from those years are now sold out. This CD brings them back to life by making 19 of the tracks available again, recapturing the wonderful vitality and variety of those early releases. The liner notes are a sixteen-page booklet containing the original notes for each track followed by short updates on the artists and their work
You can purchase either Early Years or Later Years for $14, or both for $24.


Price: $14.00 - Item: 410
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Experimental Musical Instruments - Later Years

Later Years is the second of the pair of CDs containing selections from the Experimental Musical Instruments annual audio cassette series that ran from 1985 – 1999. (The first, called Early Years is described above.) Later Years covers the years from 1993-1999, featuring 17 different instrument makers in all their diversity, inventiveness and originality. The liner notes are a sixteen-page booklet containing the original notes for each track followed by short updates on most of the artists and their work.

You can purchase either Early Years or Later Years for $14, or both for $24.


Price: $14.00 - Item: 412
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Instrumentarium Hopkinis: Bart Hopkin Plays Invented Instruments

In this audio CD, Bart Hopkin (the founder and still the main guy at Experimental Musical Instruments) plays his own instruments. Great music played on a wildly diverse collection of instruments. Includes 16-page booklet with information on the instruments.


Price: $14.00 - Item: 415
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21 Ways of Looking at Things

Sound Instruments Designed by Bart Hopkin

Compared to the Instrumentarium CD described above, this newer audio CD is more textural, landscape-ish, atmospheric. 21 pieces featuring dozens of instruments ranging from unusual to scarcely imaginable.


Price: $14.00 - Item: 420
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21 Ways and Instrumentarium Hopkinis

Get both Bart Hopkin CDs – 21 Ways and Instrumentarium Hopkinis (described above) – for one reduced price.


Price: $24.00 - Item: 421
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