This article needs to be updated.July 2019)(
Yamaha headquarters in Hamamatsu, November 2006
|Traded as||TYO: 7951|
|Founded||12 October 1887|
|Founder|| Torakusu Yamaha |
|Headquarters||10-1, Nakazawacho, Naka-ku,|
|Takuya Nakata, President & Representative Executive Officer|
|Products||Musical instruments, audio equipment, electronics|
Number of employees
|28,112 (including temporary employees) (2017)|
Yamaha Corporation (ヤマハ株式会社, Yamaha Kabushiki Gaisha , // ; 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 piano 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.
Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. (currently Yamaha Corporation) was established in 1887 as a piano and reed organ manufacturer by Torakusu Yamaha in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture and was incorporated on October 12, 1897. The company's origins as a musical instrument manufacturer are still reflected today in the group's logo—a trio of interlocking tuning forks.
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 RT125 (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,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.
Yamaha has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments (including pianos, "silent" pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, woodwinds, violins, violas, celli, and vibraphones), as well as a leading manufacturer of semiconductors, audio/visual, computer related products, sporting goods, home appliances, specialty metals and industrial robots.Yamaha released the Yamaha CS-80 in 1977.
Yamaha made the first commercially successful digital synthesizer, the Yamaha DX7, in 1983.
In 1988, Yamaha shipped the world's first CD recorder.Yamaha purchased Sequential Circuits in 1988. It bought a majority stake (51%) of competitor Korg in 1987, which was bought out by Korg in 1993.
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 and were notable for their short demo songs, short selectable phrases, funny sound effects and distortion and crackly sounds progressing on many volume levels when battery power is low.
In 2002, Yamaha closed down its archery product business that was started in 1959. Six archers in five different Olympic Games won gold medals using their products.
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 arm, the company being renamed Yamaha Music U.K. Ltd in autumn 2007.Kemble & Co. Ltd, the UK piano sales & manufacturing arm was unaffected.
On December 20, 2007, Yamaha made an agreement with the Austrian Bank BAWAG P.S.K. Group BAWAG to purchase all the shares of Bösendorfer,intended to take place in early 2008. Yamaha intends to continue manufacturing at the Bösendorfer facilities in Austria. The acquisition of Bösendorfer was announced after the NAMM Show in Los Angeles, on January 28, 2008. As of February 1, 2008, Bösendorfer Klavierfabrik GmbH operates as a subsidiary of Yamaha Corp.
Yamaha Corporation is also widely known for their 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.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:
Kandō (感動) is a Japanese word used by Yamaha Corporation to describe their corporate mission. Kandō in translation describes the sensation of profound excitement and gratification derived from experiencing supreme quality and performance. Some reasonable English synonyms are "emotionally touching" or "emotionally moving".
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.
Yamaha expanded into many diverse businesses and product groups. The first venture into each major category is listed below.
Yamaha announced the singing synthesizer Vocaloid for the first time at the German fair Musikmesse on March 5–9, 2003.
Yamaha also began to get involved with the sale and production of Vocaloid applications themselves with Lily being the first; Lily 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.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. VY1 saw 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.Later, this version of the software was released using the VY1 voice. VY2 will also be released for this version of the software.
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.
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.
Roland Corporation is a Japanese manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972. In 2005, Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has factories in Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, and the USA. As of March 31, 2010, it employed 2,699 employees. In 2014, Roland was subject to a management buyout by Roland's CEO Junichi Miki, supported by Taiyo Pacific Partners.
Digital music technology encompasses digital instruments, computers, electronic effects units, software, or digital audio equipment by a performer, composer, sound engineer, DJ, or record producer to produce, perform or record music. The term refers to electronic devices, instruments, computer hardware, and software used in performance, playback, recording, composition, mixing, analysis, and editing of music.
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.
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, electronic keyboards and electronic synthesizers. The company was established in August 1927. They are deemed of making the best quality grand pianos in par with Fazioli, Steinway, etc.
The keytar is a relatively lightweight synthesizer that is supported by a strap around the neck and shoulders, similar to the way a guitar is supported by a strap. Keytars allow players a greater range of movement onstage, compared to conventional keyboards, which are placed on stationary stands or which are part of heavy, floor-mounted structures. The instrument has a musical keyboard for triggering musical notes and sounds. Various controls are placed on the instrument's "neck", including those for pitch bends, vibrato, portamento, and sustain.
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, and in its use of three-strings-per-hammer model of construction.
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" which was released in 2004.
Chappell of Bond Street is a musical instrument and sheet music retail store located in Wardour Street, Soho, London. The store, founded in 1811 by Samuel Chappell as a store to commercialise Chappell & Co. pianos, nowadays commercialises a wide range of instruments including pianos, guitars, drums, brass, woodwinds, and bowed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vocaloid Keyboard is a physical MIDI keyboard with a built-in Vocaloid synthesizer. The commercial product as a keytar was released in December 2017.
Vocaloid 5 is a singing voice synthesizer and successor to Vocaloid 4 in the Vocaloid series.
1989-1999 In 1988, Yamaha bought the rights and assets of SCI, and these rights included the employment contracts of many of the company's development team, including Dave Smith himself. … Then, in 1989, the team moved to Korg, where they designed the now-classic Wavestations. …
1987 … However, in 1987, the relationship took another huge step forward when Yamaha bought a controlling interest in Korg Inc, effectively making it a subsidiary."; "1993 … Thanks to the products developed using the funds from Yamaha's cash injection in 1987, the previous five years had been very successful, and Tsutomu Katoh now had some cash at his disposal. In fact, he had enough to buy out the majority of Yamaha's share in Korg. So he did.
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