Press Release

New Musical Instrument that Plays Melodies using Steel Bearing Balls Renting BEARINGS GLOCKEN II for Events


Tokyo, Japan, April 28, 2009 –  a music instrument called BEARINGS GLOCKEN II is available to rent for various events. This device is an upgraded version of BEARINGS GLOCKEN I, which was created in commemoration of NSK's 90th anniversary in 2006 with the aim of making people more familiar with bearings.

BEARINGS GLOCKEN is a musical instrument whose design is based on a new concept. A self-playing glockenspiel that was designed through collaboration between NSK and the artist Kohske Kawase, it uses steel balls made for bearings. Bearing balls, which are said to be the most perfect spheres on Earth, are rarely seen since they are usually incorporated into machines.

BEARINGS GLOCKEN II now has a repertoire of five musical works, and people will enjoy listening to its intriguing tone.


BEARINGS GLOCKEN II will be displayed at the 10th Spiral Independent Creators Festival (SICF) Grand Prix Artist Exhibition to be held at Spiral Garden, Aoyama, Tokyo, beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2009.

NSK hopes that you will attend the exhibition and take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy listening to the instrument's soft yet rich tone.



Size 1,450mm(w)×1,400mm(d)×1,450mm(h)
Weight 205kg
  • #1. etude
  • #2. matrix
  • #3. mellow
  • #4. minimal
  • #5. grand
  • Composition: Kohske Kawase
  • Development: NSK Ltd.
  • Design and production: Talk System Co., Ltd.
  • Cooperation: SPIRAL/Wacoal Art Center

At the exhibition, a presentation will be given to explain all there is to know about BEARINGS GLOCKEN. Covering how the first BEARINGS GLOCKEN was developed and providing an explanation of each song played by BEARINGS GLOCKEN II, this presentation will also include a demonstration video.

Event Overview

Name 10th SICF Grand Prix Artist Exhibition
Dates Tuesday, April 28 through Tuesday (national holiday), May 5, 2009
Venue Spiral garden (Spiral 1F, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Background Information

BEARINGS GLOCKEN is a musical instrument whose design is based on a new concept. It automatically plays a glockenspiel using steel bearing balls, which are said to be the most perfect spheres on Earth. The instrument was first displayed to the public at an event held by NSK in November 2006 to celebrate its 90th anniversary, which was entitled “Smooth Sailing for BEARING – NSK Bearing Art Exhibition.” It attracted a large number of people with its soft yet rich tone.
Since then, the instrument has received further exposure through other events and various media such as television programs and magazines.
Bearings, machine components that use spheres rolling between parts to reduce friction, are used in a variety of products and equipment from personal computers to washing machines, vehicles, and artificial satellite. They vary widely in size depending on the applications in which they are used. Bearings of 2 mm in diameter (the size of a grain of rice) may be used for small medical instruments, while bearings of over 6 meters in diameter may be used for supersized excavators used to dig tunnel. Bearings are widely used as “behind-the-scenes supporters” that provide smoother movement for machines.