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Can you imagine your Orchestra Members humming their parts to "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik?"
or your Band Members humming a Sousa March?
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(Read interesting Kazoo facts at the bottom of this page)
Incidentally: Even if you missed National Kazoo Day, you can make mention of the fact and celebrate with one number in your Spring Concert.
Jan. 28 is National Kazoo Day, a day to recognize the kazoo, that musical instrument that takes only a minute to master for a lifetime.
While the kazoo might be irritating when played by a noise loving youngster, it is a legitimate musical instrument. In 2015, there was even an article in the Huffington post, quoting Scott Paulson, who uses kazoos to help provide soundtracks at silent movie screenings, "It can be annoying, but it can be a delightful instrument," Paulson continued in the HuffPost Weird News, "It's known mostly as a child's toy, but it has a history of being a ritual instrument in Africa."
Paulson says the early kazoos were used in rituals where the natives would disguise their voices using an animal horn and the membrane from spider eggs. "It's basically a mask of the voice," he said.
The modern kazoo was introduced at the 1852 Georgia State Fair, but the familiar sub shape wasn't created until 1902. It is supposed to have been invented in 1850 by former slave named Alabama Vest of Macon, Ga., who had it built by clockmaker Thaddeus von Clegg, a German immigrant. By the late19th and early20th centuries, the kazoo became a popular accompanying instrument in jug bands, minstrel shows and according to Paulson, even featured on early jazz records.
Classical musicians like Leonard Bernstein, Charles Ives and Richard Wagner actually wrote pieces using the kazoo, and the instrument has been used by Frank Zappa and the Beatles. Jimi Hendrix used his 'zoo for his classic "Crosstown Traffic."
Rick Hubbard began promoting National Kazoo Day in the early '80s and tried to have Congress recognize the kazoo as our national instrument. "The kazoo's musicality is only limited by the player's imagination," Hubbard told AOL News. Hubbard, who claims he can coax 40 separate sounds from his instrument, performs 250 kazoo concerts each year.
The fact that no training is needed is one factor in the kazoo's favor, but Kazoobie spokeswoman Teresa Howey says some musicians such as classically trained singer Barbara Stewart, who died in 2011, have demonstrated what the instrument can do. Anyone can play the kazoo, but a good singer has better breath control, better pitch and can hum great riffs.
Although it's possible to get decent plastic kazoos for as little as $1.15 from us and our wooden ones by Melissa and Doug or the original metal ones for under $4.00 ...there are different shapes available (see above) and there is even a top-of-the-line kazoo made with sterling silver cost as much as $390.00.
Incidentally, maintaining and repairing kazoos are usually simple procedures ... and inexpensive. "If the resonator fails to work, you can replace it with wax paper, onion paper or the like.