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You Have to See the Musical Instruments Made Out of Vegetables


"It sometimes sounds like animals, sometimes just like abstract sounds."

Your mother may have frowned upon you playing with your food but some people are making a living -- or at least a hobby -- doing just that. Carrots, lettuce, pumpkins, you name it. These vegetables can be used to make music.

Watch this report on two Chinese men whose career involves turning veggies from a nutritious food group into food for the music-loving soul:

According to ITN News, Nan Weidong and Nan Weiping's performances on vegetable instruments can cost up to $8,000. As you can imagine, the instruments need to be replaced often as they will begin to rot.

Think this sort of activity is just fun and games? Some take veggie instruments very seriously. In fact, there is a vegetable orchestra based in Vienna that was founded in 1998. According to the Vegetable Orchestra's website, the ensemble plays a variety of music styles, including contemporary, free jazz, noise, dub and clicks'n'cuts:

We believe that we can produce sound that cannot be (easily) produced by other instruments. You can hear the difference. It sometimes sounds like animals, sometimes just like abstract sounds. We explored these abstract sounds in cd, which is inspired by electronic sounds featured in contemporary electronic music.

To achieve some sounds, the 11-member group even hooks the vegetables up to electronic systems. Watch the making of some of the instruments and recording of the Vegetable Orchestra's recent album "Onionoise":

Here are some of the instruments that can be made out of vegetables:

  • A pumpkin can become a drum with tiny eggplant, squash or carrot drumsticks.
  • Celery is transformed into a guitar thanks to its fibrous composition.
  • A carrot and a bell pepper makes a horn.
  • Carrots of various sizes with holes drilled into them can make flutes, recorders and clarinet-like instruments.
  • Leaks are transformed into a violin.

The combinations of vegetables to make instrumental sounds are endless, according to the Vegetable Orchestra. The group has been told that this use of food is wasteful, to which they have responded saying that their instruments, in addition to being biodegradable, actually cost less than most traditional instruments. They also turn some of the instruments into vegetable soup, which is served to the audience, after a performance.

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