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You know the guys from Yamaha, those multi-talented Japanese bringing you some of the best motorcycles and musical instruments on the market. I personally havenâ€™t heard of any new technology from them for quite some time now, but that is just my impression as now I see them coming up with an interesting musical instrument concept.
“Tenori-On” is a digital instrument that bares little to no resemblance to any other musical instrument youâ€™ve seen. Basically, Tenori-On’s lets you operate an impressive array of LED buttons to play phrases and tempos. On both rear and front sides of the Tenori-On, 256 LEDs (16 columns x 16 rows) are laid out. Yamaha explains that the LEDs on the front side, which faces the user, are buttons that can be pressed to play music and compose songs, for example. The LEDs on the rear side display the same pattern as those on the front side, so viewers in the audience can enjoy the variation of sound and light when the Tenori-On is used for a stage performance.
How does it really work? Time (or tempo) is allotted horizontally, while tone is allotted vertically (in Score mode). In this mode, the Tenori-On displays a vertical line that runs from left to right at a certain speed. When you hold down a button, the appropriate LED at the pressed position turns on, and the sound is produced with the allocated tone (out of an impressive tone bank) when the vertical line reaches that position. Toshio Iwai, the media artist who created the concept and cooperated in its development, said that the Tenori-On was inspired by manual paper tape music boxes.
The product will be available worldwide starting May 12 and itâ€™s priced at $1,158.
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