Manufacturer calls it “a little special,” but others would probably go with “really weird” or “oddly kinky.”

With the exception of a handful of piano tunes, playing a single instrument is usually a single-person affair. That’s especially true of wind instruments, like the harmonica, since most musicians follow the orthodox rule of one mouth per mouthpiece.

But Japanese instrument maker Yamaha actually does make a two-person harmonica. Called the Melochord, the harmonica (pictured above) divides up the duty by having one musician play single notes, and the other handle chords.

You might be thinking it does this by being extra-long, so that the players can stand next to each other as they simultaneously blow into the instrument, but nope. The Melochord is actually dual-sided, with mouthpieces on both its front and back.

Because of this, the two people sharing the Melochord are supposed to play it while facing each other. This, of course, requires their faces to be in incredibly close proximity, so close that Yamaha itself says the proper form is for you and your partner’s foreheads to be touching each other as you make music together.

If this is all starting to sound like an elaborate setup for an absurd attempt at sexiness in a titillating anime series, you’re not alone in that impression, as Japanese Twitter user @koaaski, following Yamaha’s description, has provided a visual example of the correct Melochord technique starring two illustrated schoolgirls.

▼ Weird as it looks, the Melochrod sounds pretty normal, according to this audio sample from Yamaha.

But while the Melochord’s design brings to mind Japan’s stock fetish of indirectly kissing your crush by playing her recorder, the two-person harmonica isn’t so kinky that you and your musical collaborator are blowing air directly into each other’s mouths. The interior air ducts of the Melochord are slanted, so that air can flow freely into and out of the instrument in order to produce sounds. However, there’s still likely to be some seepage of breath, and possibly spittle during more intense blasts, so keeping some breath mints and tissues (for before and after your session, respectively) handy would probably be a good idea.

The Melochord has a product page on Amazon Japan, where it’s offered for sale by Yamaha itself, yet is not currently in stock.

Source: Yamaha via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@koaaski
Top image: Amazon Japan/ヤマハ(Yamaha)
Insert image: Yamaha
Audio sample: Yamaha

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