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Watch Junji Play an Apple!


Japanese school teacher Junji Koyama has become world-famous for making musical instruments out of fruits and vegetables and posting YouTube performances of his work.  Junji has performed on every kind of fruit or vegetable you can think of – apples, pineapples, strawberries, limes, cactus, carrots, radishes, broccoli, cucumbers – a full orchestra of edible instruments.

Originally, Junji’s work was exclusive to vegetables, until the world’s largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand, Tutti Frutti, approached him to do a commercial campaign using instruments made out of fruit.  This video is from that campaign.  Junji plays an apple, accompanied by a mechanical monkey on cymbals.  The monkey has a rhythm of his own, slowing down halfway through the song, and Junji lets the monkey be the band leader, following it’s varying tempos in this cute clip.

Mr. Koyama is basically a very clever flute maker – his fruits and vegetables are all various forms of flutes.   A flute makes sound when breath is sent into the flute, and the air stream travels down the piping. The air stream hits against the side of the flute, which makes the stream move and create a sound. To change the pitch of the flute, you simply lift up fingers or cover more finger holes. This changes the frequency of the sound waves, creating a different pitch.  If a flute has no holes, which is the case with some of Junji’s instruments, then it will always play the same pitch.  With those types of flutes, Junji sometimes creates multiple replicas of the instrument that each have a different pitch, so that he can blow on them in varying order to create different melodies.

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