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MaywaDenki OtamaTone.jpg

The Otamatone is an electronic musical instrument developed in Japan by the Cube Works Company along with Maywa Denki,[1] an art group consisting of the brothers Masamichi and Nobumichi Tosa.[2] It is a singing toy whose body is shaped like an eighth note (it also somewhat resembles a ladle, "otama" being Japanese for "ladle"), with sound emerging from a "mouth" on the notehead. It requires two hands to play: while one hand holds and squeezes the "head", the other hand controls the pitch of the tune by placing the finger on a bar on the stem; a higher position on the stem creates a lower sound.[3] Varying the pressure on the head (thereby opening and closing the "mouth" of the instrument) creates a wah-wah effect, and shaking the neck (and thereby slightly changing pressure on the head) creates a vibrato effect. Switches on the back of the head allow users to change octave, turn it off or on, or change the volume.

The sound made by this instrument can be compared to the sound of a theremin,[4] synthesizer, or jinghu. It is available in Wahha (an alternate design, but with teeth), Deluxe, and Mini as well as the original. The original and mini versions come in black, white, yellow, blue, and pink; the other kinds of otamatone come in black and white [5]


  1. ^ Anthony Dunne; Fiona Raby (22 November 2013). Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. MIT Press. pp. 25–. ISBN 978-0-262-01984-2. 
  2. ^ "Maywa Denki". Retrieved 21 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Sarah M. Schlachetzki (March 2014). Fusing Lab and Gallery: Device Art in Japan and International Nano Art. transcript Verlag. pp. 35–. ISBN 978-3-8394-2026-3. 
  4. ^ "About Otamatone". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Otamatone shop". Retrieved 24 May 2014. 

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