Yamaha Unveils “THE JOYFUL PIANO” Concert Movie, Performed by Three People with Physical Disabilities in Sync with Orchestra/Chorus, and “AI-assisted Piano”

– Special Website of Unprecedented Concert Also Released –

HAMAMATSU, Japan, Feb. 7, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Yamaha Corporation is pleased to announce that the movie and special website of an unprecedented piano concert was opened to the public from February 7. Held at Suntory Hall in Tokyo on December 21, 2023, “THE JOYFUL PIANO” was an exceptional concert in which three people with disabilities in limbs played Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with an orchestra and chorus. They played the “AI-assisted Piano (*)” that automatically synchronized to and accompanied the pianist, allowing them to play physically manageable parts and delegating the rest to the AI.

Inspired by the passion of the pianists to play the 9th, no matter what their disabilities or experiences are, Yamaha decided to support their dream with the power of technology. The concert was planned to communicate their courage and joy of playing music to the world and encourage people to take a new step forward.

Concert movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bc1GSwpw1sw
Special website (English): https://www.yamaha.com/en/about/initiatives/the-9th/ 

The 9th was played in the style of a piano concerto. The arrangement, unlike any other in the world, made the performance of the three pianists stand out, with the orchestra and chorus harmoniously responding to the piano.

Images: https://kyodonewsprwire.jp/release/202402016083?p=images 

Comment by one of the pianists
Ms. Hiroko Higashino: “I felt that I finally enjoyed playing Beethoven as I always wanted to, when the orchestra, the space, the audience and the AI-assisted Piano — the four of them came together in harmony. I feel it is out of date to give up something because of a disability.”

Comment by Yamaha representative
“Since its foundation, Yamaha has always striven to make music ‘accessible to everyone,’ or to make it something ‘anyone can enjoy.’ As part of such efforts, this concert has successfully proven that with technology that compensates one’s weakness, anyone can try to fulfill a dream regardless of handicaps, age or characteristics. The event not only delivered a moving experience to the audience but also inspired people to take a step forward with courage and passion. Building on this, we will continue to extend a system that supports everyone with or without a disability, including beginners interested in playing the piano, with the aim of making music ‘accessible to everyone.'”

(*) AI-assisted Piano
This innovative instrument responds to a key strike by seamlessly generating accompaniment and pedal movements that align with the melody. It assists the players, regardless of disability, experience or age, to realize the performance they desire. For this concert where three people with disabilities attempted to play Beethoven’s 9th together with an orchestra and chorus, new technologies including “ultra-low latency sound generation” have been introduced based on Yamaha’s reproducing piano called “Disklavier (TM),” allowing the players to feel more connected to the piano. Moreover, to assist the three pianists to do their best and shine among the orchestra and chorus, technologies that reflect their individual playing styles and physical movements have also been adopted.

 

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