Yamaha Corporation

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Coordinates: 34°43′03″N137°43′58″E / 34.7174427°N 137.7328659°E / 34.7174427; 137.7328659


Yamaha Corporation
Native name
Romanized name
Yamaha kabushiki gaisha
FormerlyNippon Gakki Seizo Company, Limited (1887–1987)
Type Public KK
Founded12 October 1887;135 years ago (1887-10-12)
Founder Torakusu Yamaha
Headquarters10-1, Nakazawacho, Naka-ku, ,
Area served
Key people
Takuya Nakata, President & Representative Executive Officer
Products Musical instruments, audio equipment, electronics
RevenueIncrease2.svg ¥ 408.2 billion (2017) [1]
Increase2.svg ¥ 44.3 billion (2017)[ verification needed ] [1]
Increase2.svg ¥ 46.7 billion (2017)[ verification needed ] [1]
Number of employees
28,112 (including temporary employees) (2017) [1]
Website yamaha.com

Yamaha Corporation (ヤマハ株式会社, Yamaha kabushiki gaisha , /ˈjæməˌhɑː/ ; Japanese pronunciation:  [jamaha] ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and conglomerate with a very wide range of products and services. It is one of the constituents of Nikkei 225 and is the world's largest musical instrument manufacturing company. The former motorcycle division was established in 1955 as Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., which started as an affiliated company but later became independent, although Yamaha Corporation is still a major shareholder.


Torakusu Yamaha, founder of Yamaha Corporation Torakusu-yamaha.jpg
Torakusu Yamaha, founder of Yamaha Corporation

Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. (currently Yamaha Corporation) was established in 1887 as a reed organ manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha (山葉寅楠) in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture and was incorporated on 12 October 1897. In 1900, the company started the production of pianos. The first piano to be made in Japan was an upright built in 1900 by Torakusu Yamaha, founder of Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd. — later renamed Yamaha Corporation. [2] The company's origins as a musical instrument manufacturer are still reflected today in the group's logo—a trio of interlocking tuning forks. [3] [2]

After World War II, company president Genichi Kawakami repurposed the remains of the company's war-time production machinery and the company's expertise in metallurgical technologies to the manufacture of motorcycles. The YA-1 (AKA Akatombo, the "Red Dragonfly"), of which 125 were built in the first year of production (1954), was named in honour of the founder. It was a 125cc, single cylinder, two-stroke street bike patterned after the German DKW RT 125 (which the British munitions firm, BSA, had also copied in the post-war era and manufactured as the Bantam and Harley-Davidson as the Hummer). In 1955, [4] the success of the YA-1 resulted in the founding of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., splitting the motorcycle division from the company. Also, in 1954 the Yamaha Music School was founded. [2]

Yamaha has grown into the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments (including pianos, "silent" pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, cellos, and vibraphones), and a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals, and industrial robots. [5] Yamaha released the Yamaha CS-80 in 1977.

In 1983, Yamaha made the first commercially successful digital synthesizer, the Yamaha DX7.

In 1988, Yamaha shipped the world's first CD recorder. [6] Yamaha purchased Sequential Circuits in 1988. [7] It bought a majority stake (51%) of competitor Korg in 1987, which was bought out by Korg in 1993. [8]

Yamaha Ginza Building in Tokyo is the largest musical instrument store in Japan. The complex includes a shopping area, concert hall, and music studio. Yamaha Ginza.jpg
Yamaha Ginza Building in Tokyo is the largest musical instrument store in Japan. The complex includes a shopping area, concert hall, and music studio.

In the late 1990s, Yamaha released a series of portable battery operated keyboards under the PSS and the PSR range of keyboards. The Yamaha PSS-14 and PSS-15 keyboards were upgrades to the Yamaha PSS-7 with short demo songs, short selectable phrases, and sound effects. [9]

In 2002, Yamaha closed its archery product business that was started in 1959. Six archers in five different Olympic Games won gold medals using their products. [10]

In January 2005, it acquired German audio software manufacturer Steinberg from Pinnacle Systems. In July 2007, Yamaha bought out the minority shareholding of the Kemble family in Yamaha-Kemble Music (UK) Ltd, Yamaha's UK import and musical instrument and professional audio equipment sales division. It was renamed Yamaha Music U.K. Ltd in late 2007. [11] Kemble & Co. Ltd, the UK piano sales & manufacturing arm, was unaffected. [12]

On 20 December 2007, Yamaha made an agreement with the Austrian Bank BAWAG P.S.K. Group BAWAG to purchase all the shares of Bösendorfer, [13] intended to take place in early 2008. Yamaha intends to continue manufacturing at the Bösendorfer facilities in Austria. [14] The acquisition of Bösendorfer was announced after the NAMM Show in Los Angeles, on January 28, 2008. As of 1 February 2008, Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH operates as a subsidiary of Yamaha Corp. [15]

Yamaha Corporation is widely known for its music teaching programme that began in the 1950s. Yamaha electronics have proven to be successful, popular, and respected products. For example, the Yamaha YPG-625 was awarded "Keyboard of the Year" and "Product of the Year" in 2007 from The Music and Sound Retailer magazine. [16] Other noteworthy Yamaha electronics include the SHS-10 Keytar, a consumer-priced keytar which offered MIDI output features normally found on much more expensive keyboards.

Other companies in the Yamaha Corporation group include:

Corporate mission

Kandō (感動) is a Japanese word used by Yamaha Corporation to describe its corporate mission. Kandō is the sensation of profound excitement and gratification derived from experiencing supreme quality and performance. [17] Some reasonable English equivalents are "emotionally touching" or "emotionally moving".

Yamaha Music Foundation

The Yamaha Music Foundation is an organization established in 1966 by the authority of the Japanese Ministry of Education for the purpose of promoting music education and music popularization. It continued a program of music classes begun by Yamaha Corporation in 1954. [18]


Yamaha expanded into many diverse businesses and product groups. The first venture into each major category is listed below. [19]

Synthesizers and samplers

Yamaha announced the singing synthesizer Vocaloid for the first time at the German fair Musikmesse on March 5–9, 2003. [20]

Yamaha began the sale and production of Vocaloid applications, starting with Lily which was later sold via Internet Co., Ltd.'s website. Their involvement continued with the VY series, with VY1 being the first, released in deluxe and standard editions on September 1, 2010. [21] The VY series is a series designed to be a high quality product for professional musicians. The series is also designed with the intention to set a new standard for the Vocaloids for having no face, sex, or set voice, but are designed to complete any song. [22] VY1 has a new approach to how the software handled the database of samples and improved the performance of the Vocaloid 2 engine.

Yamaha announced a version of the Vocaloid 2 software for the iPhone and iPad, which exhibited at the Y2 Autumn 2010 Digital Content Expo in Japan. [23] [24] Later, this version of the software was released using the VY1 voice. [25] [26] VY2 will also be released for this version of the software. [27]

Factory locations

In Japan, the company maintains three factories for musical instrument manufacture, engine and various vehicle manufacture (motorcycles and marine products), with all factories located in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Sports teams

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Digital synthesizer</span> Synthesizer that uses digital signal processing to make sounds

A digital synthesizer is a synthesizer that uses digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to make musical sounds. This in contrast to older analog synthesizers, which produce music using analog electronics, and samplers, which play back digital recordings of acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments. Some digital synthesizers emulate analog synthesizers; others include sampling capability in addition to digital synthesis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Korg</span> Japanese musical instrument company

Korg Inc., founded as Keio Electronic Laboratories, is a Japanese multinational corporation that manufactures electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording equipment, and electronic tuners. Under the Vox brand name, they also manufacture guitar amplifiers and electric guitars.

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational manufacturer of motorcycles, marine products such as boats and outboard motors, and other motorized products. The company was established in 1955 upon separation from Yamaha Corporation, and is headquartered in Iwata, Shizuoka, Japan. The company conducts development, production and marketing operations through 109 consolidated subsidiaries as of 2012.

Kawai Musical Instruments Manufacturing Co., Ltd. is a musical instrument manufacturing company headquartered in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. It is best known for its grand pianos, upright pianos, digital pianos, electronic keyboards and electronic synthesizers. The company was founded in August 1927.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bösendorfer</span> Austrian piano manufacturer

Bösendorfer is an Austrian piano manufacturer and, since 2008, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation. Bösendorfer is unusual in that it produces 97- and 92-key models in addition to instruments with standard 88-key keyboards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vocaloid</span> Singing voice synthesizer software

Vocaloid is a singing voice synthesizer software product. Its signal processing part was developed through a joint research project led by Kenmochi Hideki at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, in 2000 and was not originally intended to be a full commercial project. Backed by the Yamaha Corporation, it developed the software into the commercial product "Vocaloid" that was released in 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yamaha YA-1</span> Type of motorcycle

The Yamaha YA-1 is the first motorcycle produced by the Yamaha Motor Company. It was made from 1955 to 1958. This was also the first vehicle in Japan to have a primary kick start system. The Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan(in Japanese), includes the 1955 Yamaha 125YA-1 as one of their 240 Landmarks of Japanese Automotive Technology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Internet Co., Ltd.</span> Software company in Osaka, Japan

Internet Co., Ltd. or Internet, is a software company based in Osaka, Japan. It is best known for the music sequencer Singer Song Writer and Niconico Movie Maker for Nico Nico Douga, a video sharing website. It also develops singing synthesizers using the Vocaloid 4 engine developed by Yamaha Corporation. In 2014, they were the second leading company in sound related software in Japan, boasting a 14.0% share of the market.

Bplats, Inc. is an application service provider (ASP) based in Tokyo, Japan. The company offers software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) solutions. It runs web portals on ASP, SaaS and cloud computing and an online store to sell software and hardware, such as the VY Vocaloid series.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Korg Kronos</span> Music workstation

The Kronos is a music workstation manufactured by Korg that combines nine different synthesizer sound engines with a sequencer, digital recorder, effects, a color touchscreen display and a keyboard. Korg's latest flagship synthesizer series at the time of its announcement, the Kronos series was announced at the winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California in January 2011.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vocaloid 2</span>

Vocaloid 2 is a singing voice synthesizer and the successor to the Vocaloid voice synthesizer application by Yamaha. Unlike the first engine, Vocaloid 2 based its output on vocal samples, rather than voice analysis. The synthesis engine and the user interface were completely revamped, with Japanese Vocaloids possessing a Japanese interface, as opposed to the previous version, which used English for both versions. It is noteworthy for introducing the popular character Hatsune Miku.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vocaloid 3</span>

Vocaloid 3 is a singing voice synthesizer and successor to Vocaloid 2 in the Vocaloid series. This version of the software is a much more expansive version, containing many new features, three new languages and many more vocals than past software versions combined.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yamaha Music London</span>

Yamaha Music London is an English musical instrument and sheet music retail store owned and operated by Yamaha Music Europe GmbH's UK branch. It is located on Soho's Wardour Street and the majority of the building has Grade II Listed status.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gackpoid</span>

Gackpoid, is a software product developed by Internet Co., Ltd. for the Vocaloid software. His voice is sampled from Japanese singer and actor Gackt. The mascot of the software is called Camui Gackpo, after Gackt's alias name. Gackpo is sometimes referred to as Gackpo Camui or Gakupo Kamui, and usually referred to as Kamui Gakupo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">VY1</span>

VY1 is a Japanese female vocal developed by Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Bplats, Inc. to act as a "standard" vocal for Vocaloid. It has the codename of "Mizki". It was originally released for the Vocaloid 2 engine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">VY2</span>

VY2 is a Japanese masculine vocal developed by Yamaha Corporation and distributed by Bplats, Inc. to act as a "standard" vocal for Vocaloid. It has the codename of "Yūma". It was originally released for the Vocaloid 2 engine. The fan design "Roro" which is illustrated by song producer Manbou no Ane, is commonly used to represent VY2. VY2 also has a Falsetto Voicebank that allows users to make higher pitched songs with its voice. VY2's voice bank is often used with the VY1 voice bank.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Torakusu Yamaha</span> Founder of Yamaha

Torakusu Yamaha was a Japanese businessman and entrepreneur known as the founder of the Yamaha Corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vocaloid 5</span>

Vocaloid 5 is a singing voice synthesizer and successor to Vocaloid 4 in the Vocaloid series.


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  9. "PSS-14 Portable Keyboard". Yamaha.{{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
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