What's making that racket?
February 14, 2010 6:35 PM   Subscribe

I was watching the Olympic Biathlon today and saw spectators with noisemakers that looked like vintage tin horns. Difference was that these horns had four bells and seemed to be able to change pitch. What are they and where can I get one?
posted by Kimothy to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It wasn't the cowbell was it?
posted by barnone at 9:25 PM on February 14, 2010

Also, they come in different sizes. Perhaps you heard the noises from all differently sized bells?
posted by barnone at 9:26 PM on February 14, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion, but these were definitely not cowbells. The shape of the horns' bells actually reminded me or agogo bells, but with four bells close together. Anyway, they were definitely wind instruments that were being buzzed into like a trumpet or bugle.
posted by Kimothy at 9:41 PM on February 14, 2010

Like these? Or all in a row?
posted by barnone at 10:23 PM on February 14, 2010

OK sorry, not actual bells. Were they tin or plastic?
posted by barnone at 11:22 PM on February 14, 2010

And I take it they weren't pan flutes?
posted by barnone at 11:28 PM on February 14, 2010

Best answer: I believe Kimothy is talking about these.

I saw em too. But I have zero music knowledge, but yeah I thought they were cool and made a neat sound.

If you go to Men's 10km sprint full replay and forward to 56:30 you'll see and hear em.
posted by andryeevna at 5:44 AM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, yes! Those guys! That's what I'm talking about! I talked with another trumpet player about them today, and we're both stumped as to what they could be.
posted by Kimothy at 3:36 PM on February 15, 2010

Wow, cool! I bet it's a French or Swiss thing. I haven't had luck googling nordic skiing or alpine skiing + any variety of names of those things.
posted by barnone at 4:46 PM on February 15, 2010

Best answer: I found this photo of the same mustachioed fan at another biathlon event. The caption says he's German; maybe that will point you in the right direction.
posted by bgrebs at 4:55 PM on February 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Update: On discovering their use in Germany, I asked a friend in Hamburg about the horns. He said that they looked like Signal horns to him. Another friend in Schmalkalden said that he had seen some on a recent trip to Munich and would see what he could dig up for me.

Google search for German signal horn led me here (see "two-tone sports horn" towards the bottom.) and here. Now if only I could find some for sale. I hope and doubt that guy is out there with an antiques!
posted by Kimothy at 9:07 PM on February 16, 2010

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