The Otamatone is an electronic musical synthesizer developed in Japan by the CUBE toy company and the Maywa Denki design firm. Shaped like an eighth note, it makes a sound similar to a theremin and is played with both hands, one controlling the "mouth" to make a wah-wah effect and the other controlling pitch with a ribbon running along the front of the note's stem, as well as vibrato by shaking the head.

Released in 2009, the instrument has been very popular internationally, and several versions have been released since. For example, the Otomatone neo, which was released for the product's 10th anniversary in 2019 made improvements for playability and added smartphone compatibility to play more instruments.

A little over a month ago in January, audiences who watched the popular Spanish TV show Got Talent España 2021 had a chance to appreciate the unique and whimsically shaped instrument thanks to a virtuoso performance by one of the contestants.

28-year-old Juanjo Monserrat wowed the judges with his rendition of Nessun dorma from Puccini's Turandot. Watch and listen as Monserrat channels the operatic muses into his inspired rendition, conveying the nuance and vibrato required of this classic. The little yellow Otamatone may not be Pavoratti, but it was a remarkable performance for the instrument which not only brought the Otomatone to the attention of Spanish audiences but also had positive repercussions in its country of origin.

The judges were completely won over, and he earned the coveted Golden Buzzer.

The video was played this morning on the Japanese breakfast variety show Sukkiri! on Nippon Television, which caused an immediate buzz on social media, with the hashtag for Otamatone (#オトマトーン ) trending through the first half of the day.

Montserrat appeared on the show via Zoom to be interviewed and explain his passion for the instrument, and the show gave a demonstration of the Otamotone and how it is played.

If you'd like to learn more about the Otamatone lineup, visit the official website here.

You can also buy it on and other online retailers if you do a search for Otomatone.

By - Ben K.