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What is a Kazoo

PUBLISHED: 02 Apr 2015 UPDATED: 27 Jan 2017 • LESSON CODE: KAZ-01

Topic: Kazoo kazoo Subjects: melody

What is a Kazoo

<img class="top img-thumbnail" src="/images/logos/A/logo-AEWoodenToysKazoo.png">The kazoo is a musical instrument that adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice when the player vocalizes into it. It is a type of mirliton, which is a membranophone, one of a class of instruments which modifies its player's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.

A kazoo player hums, rather than blows, into the instrument. The oscillating air pressure of the hum makes the kazoo's membrane vibrate. The resulting sound varies in pitch and loudness with the player's humming. Players can produce different sounds by singing specific syllables such as doo, who, rrrrr or brrrr into the kazoo.

The first documented appearance of a kazoo was that created by an American inventor, Warren Herbert Frost, who named his new musical instrument kazoo in his patent #270,543 issued on January 9, 1883. The patent states, "This instrument or toy, to which I propose to give the name 'kazoo' "..." Frost's kazoo did not look like present-day submarine-shaped kazoos. The modern kazoo—also the first one made of metal—was patented by George D. Smith of Buffalo, New York, May 27, 1902.


If you want a great wooden kazoo made by good friends of ours and Funky Frets then visit AE Wooden Toys. They are a vendor at the Philadelphia Folk Fest with use ( Funky Frets ) every year and I think our grandchildren, TJ and Ali have their whole collection of wooden toys.

AE Wooden Toys

AE Wooden Toys Toys

Since 2009 our family has been making quality, non-toxic wooden toys at affordable prices for families like yours. Walnut, oak, alder and other fine woods are handcrafted into smooth, durable designs and rubbed with a non-toxic oil to allow the natural beauty to shine. Recycled materials are used whenever possible and top priority is given to environmental sustainability.

End of Lesson - Thanks, Hope You Enjoyed It!

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Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

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