Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” Played With 167 Theremins Placed Inside Matryoshka Dolls in Japan

Back in 2011, in Tokyo, 167 musi­cians per­formed some clas­sic Beethoven with the “Matry­omin,” a new-fan­gled instru­ment that lodges a theremin inside a matryosh­ka. A matryosh­ka, of course, is one of those Russ­ian nest­ed dolls where you find wood­en dolls of decreas­ing size placed one inside the oth­er. As for the theremin, it’s a cen­tu­ry-old elec­tron­ic musi­cal instru­ment that requires no phys­i­cal con­tact from the play­er. You can watch its inven­tor, Leon Theremin, give it a demo in the vin­tage video below. Or via these links you can see the Matry­omin Ensem­ble per­form­ing ver­sions of Amaz­ing Grace and Mem­o­ry of Rus­sia. Enjoy.

Note: An ear­li­er ver­sion of this post appeared on Open Cul­ture in July, 2013. It’s like the Olympics. It comes back once every four years.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Sovi­et Inven­tor Léon Theremin Shows Off the Theremin, the Ear­ly Elec­tron­ic Instru­ment That Could Be Played With­out Being Touched (1954)

“Some­where Over the Rain­bow” Played on a 1929 Theremin

Meet Clara Rock­more, the Pio­neer­ing Elec­tron­ic Musi­cian Who First Rocked the Theremin in the Ear­ly 1920s

Watch Jim­my Page Rock the Theremin, the Ear­ly Sovi­et Elec­tron­ic Instru­ment, in Some Hyp­not­ic Live Per­for­mances

New Order’s “Blue Mon­day” Played with Obso­lete 1930s Instru­ments

Watch Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’ Per­formed on a Gayageum, a Tra­di­tion­al Kore­an Instru­ment

Pak­istani Musi­cians Play Amaz­ing Ver­sion of Dave Brubeck’s Jazz Clas­sic, “Take Five”

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.