Today is National Kazoo Day! Alabama Vest and Thaddeus Von Clegg invented the kazoo in the 1840s. They presented the new instrument at the 1852 Georgia State Fair and it soon became a staple in the popular music of the era.
While today we often consider the kazoo a child’s toy, it is indeed designed to be an instrument. Kazoos can be made out of plastic, metal, or wood, and are part of the “mirliton” or “membranophone” family. These instruments all have a vibrating membrane that can be covered or partially covered to make a variety of sounds. To properly play a kazoo, you have to hum into the large end of the instrument.
The kazoo, the banjo, and the glass armonica are the only instruments invented in America. Join the campaign to make the kazoo our national instrument, learn more about this holiday, or pick up a kazoo and experiment with different sounds in honor of National Kazoo Day!