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I Hope the Last Song I Hear Is Played on the Otamatone

The Japanese instrument has taken YouTube by storm.

Louise Matsakis

Louise Matsakis

Image: Screenshot via GooglyEyes/YouTube

There's a strange musical instrument out there called an Otamatone that you might have seen in a YouTube video. It comes from Japan, is shaped like an eighth note, and has a mouth on the bottom that you open and close so that it appears to "sing." One can be had on Amazon for around $35, and there also appears to be some sort of "jumbo" version out there, though I'm not sure where you can get that guy.

Until today, I was only vaguely aware of the odd music-making device, but then I learned about the thriving, overwhelmingly talented Otamatone subculture on YouTube. My friend Damon began berating me with video clips, which at first annoyed me:

But then I realized the true magic of the otamatone, and it's quack-like song:

Now, I am convinced of the Otamatone's goodness, and have become a connoisseur. Give me a hit song, I will give you the Otamatone version performed exquisitely by one of the internet's most masterful players.

Smash Mouth's "All Star"? Hell yeah:

Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball"? I got you:

Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer?" Yah:

I particularly want to draw your attention to this man, Nelson Tan Yan Cong, a Singaporean fellow who I would argue is one of the best Otamatone players out there. He often appears to do his thing in some sort of sound-proof studio, indicating he is a true professional.

You will be blown away by his cover of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You":

He also did "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables:

One commenter replied to that video "...Oh...my...I'm crying…" which, honestly, I understand. To weep is the only rational response when you hear Nelson shred the Otamatone.

Soon enough we will all die, but, in the meantime, I will pray that the last song I hear is played on the Otamatone, the most magical instrument of all.