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Fry playing the Holophonor

The Holophonor is a musical instrument of the 30th Century. It's best described as a combination of an Oboe and a Holographic Projector.

The notes played by its user triggers the projector to show holographic images, which relate to the mood of the notes. Due to its complicated nature, it requires a great amount of skill to play. According to Turanga Leela, only a few people possess the skill to play the instrument - and they are not very good at it.

In "Parasites Lost", a clan of parasitic worms improve Philip J. Fry I and enable him to play the Holophonor to perfection, which he uses to win Leela's heart. Once he rids his body of the worms, his skill becomes nothing more than that of a beginner and Leela dumps him.

In "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", Fry tries in vain to regain his skill with the instrument until he makes a deal with the Robot Devil, in which he gains his robotic hands and begins to write an opera inspired by Leela. He partially performs in front of a sellout audience, before the Robot Devil retakes possession of his robotic hands. However, after this, a sympathetic Leela is the only one in the audience who stays behind to watch Fry play an improvised finale to the opera with the Holophonor.

Background Information[]

  • According to the commentary for "Parasites Lost", the Holophonor is based on the Visi-Sonor from Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy published in 1951 to 1953. A similar idea, the Sensory Syrinx, was created by Samuel R. Delany for his novel Nova published in 1968.
  • Apparently, nobody can play the holophonor perfectly, or even that good, yet in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", Fry could play it perfectly while he had the hands of the Robot Devil, and even some of the students could play it finely. In "Simpsorama", Lisa Simpson could play it perfectly.