This image appears in the gallery:
Music's greatest inventions: amazing, mad and brilliant instruments
8. The Theremin
An instrument played by waving your hand near it? Sounds odd, but Leon Theremin's experiments with electronic sound in the 1920s led to him inventing the Theremin. Since then, the instrument's distinctive whistle has been a favourite in sci-fi movies, Beach Boys songs and avant garde composers of the 20th Century.