Re: [oddmusic] Yerbomatófono - kazoo or not kazoo?


Since I made that definition, I have rethought things and studied patents. All of the patents I have found that are for "kazoo" have a separate membrane. All but two, 1576903 & #3883982, have the membrane parallel to the body and air flow.

Therefore I would go with the "kazoo" being an instrument with a separate membrane attached parallel to the body and air flow. And that the pitch is controlled by the voice of the player.

Other instruments in which the pitch is controlled by the voice of the player I think would be best designated "kazoids", that is kazoo + the suffix 'oid'-- "resembling but not the same as".
This would include those instruments having a separate membrane attached perdendicular to the body and air flow (such as Zobos, Songophones, and others of similar design. Patents US552612 & 663654) Warren Frost (US552612), also the inventor of the and namer of the kazoo did not consider this one to be a kazoo.

Kazoid would also include the type in this video, where the body acts as the vibrating surface(s) which is similar to patents:
#194119, #1219241, #2274897, #2331975, #2452658, #2525134, #2529693, #D158194, #2587445, and possibly D134719.

I am glad you brought this to my attention. I had not thought of using hinges to hold it together and act as the springs.
Thank you.
More experimenting to do.

motleyjustmotleynothingbutmotley - HQC Swoom Boat'm
If you hum into it and it makes noise, it is probably a kazoo.
If you blow into it and it makes noise, it is probably not a kazoo.

-----Original Message-----
From: tikkotikko <>
To: oddmusic <>
Sent: Sat, Jul 14, 2012 6:43 am
Subject: [oddmusic] Yerbomatófono - kazoo or not kazoo?

I can't understand most of the Spanish in this video, but the yerbomatófono appears to be a maté gourd (south american tea cup sort of thing made from a gourd), cut in half and then stuck back together with tape hinges. When you sing / hum? into the opening, the two halves of the gourd vibrate against each other to make a kazoo-like sound. It looks like finger pressure is also necessary to keep the thing in its operating range.

So, it kind of fulfills Motley's criterion - you sing into it rather than blowing - but it has no membrane, which I think of as an essential part of a kazoo. What say you, kazoologist?

Check out more videos by Les Luthiers - I just discovered them today, and they've made all kinds of crazy stuff, like the Bolarmonio, a bunch of rubber balls attached to reed horns, like an array of bicycle horns, but surprisingly expressive and pleasant sounding.

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