In 1910, Luigi Russolo had a vision for a new kind of music, where melody and harmony were replaced with scrapes, wails and thundering screams. It was a new, Futurist music — the audible expression of the industrialization and political dissent that rocked Italy after the turn of the century.
To express this new music, Russolo needed new instruments — so we built the Intonarumori. Over twenty years, Russolo created 27 new instruments — a series of purely acoustic boxes containing mechanics for creating rattles, scratches and roars. The operation of the Intonarumori varied, sometimes played by a hand crank, with a handle to tighten strings and change pitch.
Russolo’s Intonarumori were destroyed during the paris bombings of World War I, but the plans survived, and recordings of the new generation of Intonarumori can be found on Youtube.
Reed Enger, "Luigi Russolo, Ugo Piatti and the Intonarumori," in Obelisk Art History, Published March 24, 2016; last modified May 19, 2021, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/luigi-russolo/luigi-russolo-ugo-piatti-and-the-intonarumori/.