In the search for new sounds and new instruments instead of inventing new musical tools it’s a lot easier to develop an existing instrument and add to it musical characteristics of similar instruments. The result is to create a crossover or fusion instrument which is obtained by combining the qualities of two or more existing instruments.
Wow not sure if that was clear.
Anyhow here are some examples.
Remo the drummer’s drumhead company which has been using leading edge technology to bring to the market innovative durable and affordable drumming equipment for decades has kept some of its R&D department busy with the creation of a crossover between a djembe and a doumbek, called a djembek. No joke, it’s true! Look at the picture.
Also they produce a Digi Harp Shaker which has the sound of the jaw harp and the australian didgeridoo in one.
There are many instances of world string instruments which are mixed with a guitar and give rise to guitar fusion and guitar crossovers with the Lute, the Oud, the sitar, etc.
Check out this Cumbus Ukulele for example.
Another company which has a similar philosophy to Remo is Schlagwerk percussion, a german company, which uses technology and new materials to find the best and most reliable sounds from world instruments.
One of their fusion instruments is a frame drum which they call a Pandariq is a fusion of the the Brazilian Pandeiro, the Afghani Dairi
and the Arabian Riq.
I believe that no matter what new instrument is created ultimately it’s a matter of playing and listening to different instruments to find your unique sound by using and mixing world instruments.