What is KEROMIN?

KEROMIN is a unique and innovative electronic musical instrument in
the shape of a frog puppet. "Kero" in its name is an onomatopoeia for
song of a frog in Japanese. "Min" is after "Theremin," by which I pay
homage to the world's first electronic instrument.

In playing the Keromin, the pitch is controlled with the angle
between the thumb and other fingers which manipulate the puppet's
mouth. The sounds programmed are those of instruments for
orchestra and real frog songs as well as sampled human voice saying

Like a Theremin, the pitch changes according to continuous
movements--the opening of the puppet's mouth. It is, however,
easier to play than a Theremin because the movements are converted
into sounds in accordance with musical scales automatically.

The volume can be controlled with the player's force of grasp holding the
puppet's right arm. The pitch is shown on the display integrated in
its right arm.

Since the notes change as the mouth opens and closes, it seems as if
the puppet were singing, which gives the audience a lot of fun.
Also, as the pitch and volume are controlled with analog values (ie the
opening of the hand and the force of grasp), it has the advantage of
being able to be played intuitively even by those who cannot play
conventional instruments.

KEROMIN goes on sale in the spring of 2007 in Japan.

The movie of playing can be seen at: