Yamaha’s AI piano a hit with disabled musicians

The musical instrument manufacturer has released a YouTube video of a recent concert played in Japan by disabled performers who were assisted by an AI-powered piano.

The concert featured a trio of pianists performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Suntory Hall in Tokyo on December 21st, 2023. Accompanied by an orchestra, the three musicians were also assisted by AI technology.

One of them, Hiroko Higashino, said Yamaha’s AI Assisted Piano helped her reach musical heights previously inaccessible to her.

“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,” she said. “I feel it is out of date to give up something because of a disability.”

Yamaha says its AI piano is designed to respond to key strikes “by seamlessly generating accompaniment and pedal movements that align with the melody.”

It added: “It assists the players, regardless of disability, experience or age, to realize the performance they desire.”

The Suntory Hall performance, known as the Joyful Piano, can be viewed on YouTube.

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