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Introducing the Otamatone: February 19, 2012

Our latest Noteworthy video presents a commercial for an innovative new musical instrument, the “Otamatone” – invented by Japanese art group Maywa Denki. It’s been called the “world’s quirkiest electronic musical instrument ever”, and is fast becoming of favorite of kids throughout Japan and beyond – not least due to the bright color and cute face on each one. The Otamatone is played by having one hand squeeze the rubber cheeks (to get vibrato or other effects) while the other hand controls pitch by sliding a finger up and down the stem. As the video example shows, the instrument is capable of producing fairly fast passagework (with practice, no doubt), and creates quite a penetrating sound. The music here is an admittedly hardcore rock rendition of the famed “Can-can” (“Ce bal est original”) from Jacques Offenbach’s opera Orphée aux Enfers – which warrants its place here on Classical Archives. We discovered this instrument while on a recent trip to Japan, and we are sure it will take off elsewhere. Tell us what you think!

To purchase your own Otamatone, visit

Introducing the Otamatone electronic musical instrument.

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