A small, American instrument, now usually regarded as a toy into which the performer "hums" or sings. The instrument uses a thin membrane to amplify the voice, giving it a buzzing quality. The kazoo has been produced in all shapes and sizes, but is most familiar today as a short, open-ended tube of plastic or metal with a wax paper membrane stretched across an open hole on the top of the tube. It is classified as a mirliton in the membranophone instrument category. A type of mirliton, the kazoo is generally regarded today as a child's toy. When a player hums into one end of the cigar-shaped tube, a membrane covering a hole on one side of the tube vibrates, producing a buzzing sound.