Balloon organ

Fran Holland's "Balloon Organ" uses a bunch of standard plumbing fittings, tuned with sliders and balloons to produce weird, eerie, bagpipe-style music. A large inflated balloon to one side provides the steady air pressure for the drone. Link (Thanks, Nirvan!)


  1. are those yellow things spray handles for water hoses? My goodness this is a MAKEr’s dream come true.

  2. Oops, more things!

    A link to some little instruments (Air Blasters) you can buy that function like Fran Holland’s balloon organ tubing:

    I’d love to see some discussion of what sort of instrument these “Air Blasters” actually are, classification-wise:

    And Judy Dunaway, “Mother of Balloon Music”

  3. That is completely awesome. I love when he gets playing with the canter version of it, he plays just a couple of seconds of amazing Indian style bagpipe stuff. I’d love to hear compositions for the thing.

  4. This video of Addi visiting Stan Wood, as far as it is known the creator of the “Vibraband”, is another that should simply not be missed.

    The Vibraband is a simple strip of rubber (band cut in half) played with the mouth (ala a piece of grass) and fingers that sounds uncannily like a saxophone.

  5. Addi is an amazing dude. Check out the rest of his “Inflatable Minute” videos- there’s one called “Giant Balloon Reverb and Nels Cline” that’s pretty killer!

  6. @ pedmands

    the vibraband vid of Stan Wood is also really cool, but this one seemed especially BoingBoingy.

    Addi’s got a bunch of cool videos. His perspective of the world via balloon art is awesome, as are his balloon sculptures.

  7. I liked this so much that I had to sign up for an account just so I could thank Cory for posting it!

    One of my very favorite things I’ve seen online, even after years and years of surfing.

  8. Hey there everybody.
    Thanks for the good words.
    I have an answer for citrusfreak12:

    The instrument that I’m playing at the end of the short video is one of my own. I call it the Flubbaphone. Like my Vestigial Organ, it uses a membrane for a reed. Membrane reeds are not so common as musical instruments, although every big truck has at least one (truck-horns are membrane-horns).
    I have coined a term for this family of wind instruments based on two ethnomusicological terms that are generally considered to be mutually exclusive (i.e. membranophones and aerophones, or drums and winds). I call them membraerophones.
    The Flubbaphone has other uncommon aspects: It is a finger-hole instrument with a tuning slide that can alter the tuning of any fingering while playing, and it has a bell that can be used to likewise modulate and articulate any pitch.

    While I also build alot of double reeds and metalophones, membreaerophones are my favorite family.

    There you have it!

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