The 3rd International Conference for Universal Design in HAMAMATSU 2010

Introductions of the prototypes displayed, and Yamaha Product Design Laboratory's declaration on participation in the International Conference for Universal Design.

Dates October 30 (Sat), 2010 — November 3 (Wed), 2010
Venue ACT CITY Hamamatsu, etc.
Host International Association for Universal Design (IAUD) For further details see;


music for you, music with all.

Some say that music originally came from the human pulse;
the beat of our hearts became the beat of our music.

Ever since then, music has always been part of people's emotions.
Through music, we gain courage, enjoy celeb-rations, learn about love, and feel happiness.
Music can aggravate our anger or soothe our weariness, deepen our sadness or wash away our worries.

We make music, play music, and share music.
We sing and dance together, feel joy and sorrow together, we cry and laugh together.
People's feelings are always felt through music.

In coming generations, the value of music will become increasingly important to communicate thoroughly and realize a harmonized society.
At Yamaha, our faith in the value of music has driven us for 120 years.
And now, as we face new challenges, we are taking one step further.
We are taking musical expression and enjoyment to a whole new level.
Our aim is to take the value of music beyond the simple category of "music" and bring it to life.
To sum it up in one phrase:

music for you, music with all.

2.Yamaha's progress thus far

Creating a Made-in-Japan Organ

Yamaha began as a company that made musical instruments. It all started when the founder Torakusu Yamha first encountered an organ. Over 120 years ago in Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture in 1887, an organ broke down at Jinjo Elementary School (currently Motoshiro Elementary school). At that time, all organs had to be imported, making them extremely expensive, and there was no one in Japan who was trained to repair an organ. So the elementary school approached Torakusu, who had a good reputation in Hamamatsu as a repairman for medical equipment. Torakusu immediately started to work on the problem with the organ, and along the way he copied down the schematics for it.
Believing that "It would be worthwhile to build organs in Japan, it would serve the people," he went on to produce the first Japanese organ. But when an organ specialist came to evaluate the finished product, it was proclaimed "no organ." While Torakusu had managed to construct a machine that could make sounds, he failed in making an instrument that could create music because he had no awareness of music. Torakusu was totally shocked.

The Birth of Yamaha

Back then, of course there were no automobiles, so Torakusu had to literally carry his organ on his back all the way to Tokyo, approximately 250km (over 150miles) to get it evaluated at what is now known as the Tokyo University of the Arts. The university's examiner was so taken with Torakusu's passion that he let him into the university to study music. After a month of worthwhile study, Torakusu was finally able to create an organ that could perform music. He succeeded in turning mere sounds into music. In 1889 he established Yamaha Organ Manufacturing Company and began selling organs. The business began in earnest in 1897 when he started Nippon Gakki Co., Ltd., which is today known as Yamaha.
The organ had a major impact on Japan at that time. The sounds of organ music could be heard in Japanese elementary schools and the sight and sounds of a teacher playing the organ became a common part of school in Japan. Who knows how many young children dreamed of becoming a music teacher or a musician after encountering the organ in this way. In 1887, Torakusu was asked to do some repairs on an organ, but instead he gave the gift of beautiful organ music to Japan’s future generations.

Realizing the Value of Music

Since then, for 123years, Yamaha has continued to share the best music has to offer. Yamaha also helps create music-lovers around the world through Yamaha music schools, which enroll more than 600,000 students each year.
In addition to organs, Yamaha manufactures and sells everything from pianos to violins, wind instruments to guitars and drums sets. Especially since electronic instruments appeared in recent years and various devices and instruments creating high-quality music have been developed, music which was formerly available only to a limited number of people has been brought closer to our lives. Also, Yamaha approaches devices for listening to music?audio and sound equipment? with special attention to details as an instrument maker to achieve all kinds of new technological breakthroughs. Furthermore, Yamaha is developing its businesses in everything from software to internet technology to attract customers throughout the world.

Today, at Yamaha we are helping all people realize the unlimited value and appeal of music. For example, "sound" is something you hear with your ears, but vibrations in the air are something you can feel through your skin. Just as the way you open your mouth changes the sound when you sing, the form of an instrument changes the sounds it creates; beating a drum is a way to express a rhythm while other instruments create rhythms through vibration. Music can inspire bravery, bring up warm feelings, and soothe our sadness; it is always a part of our feelings. It is always influencing the way we feel in all kinds of ways. Music can let people share the same feelings and bring them together.

Taking a Lesson from Helen Keller

There are musicians who want to convey the value and appeal of music to each and every person they can. And there are also people who can go beyond hearing musical compositions with their ears and have a visceral experience of joy and feeling. The person who proved this fact was Helen Keller, who could neither see, hear, nor speak. By touching the mouth of a singer or feeling the vibrations of sounds through her skin, she could understand the performers' emotions and be deeply moved by music. There is a story about how when the famous tenor Enrico Caruso sang for Helen, they were both moved to tears. Enrico told her "Helen, today, I have sung better than ever before in my entire life." Helen did more than just enjoy the music herself, she also inspired great courage and sympathy in the musicians as well. Music is not just experienced through sight and sound; it is felt through the heart and through the whole body. This gives immense inspiration to us at Yamaha.

Actually, Helen Keller and Yamaha have something in common. Company founder Torakusu Yamaha first encountered an organ in 1887, which was the same year that Helen's life changed forever when she met her lifelong teacher and friend, Anne Sullivan. Helen was seven years old. If that meeting hadn't taken place, she probably never would have experienced the joy of music. At Yamaha, we can't help but feel that 1887 is more than just a coincidence; it is a meaningful sign of our shared destiny in music.

music for you, music with all.

In the past, Torakusu was astounded by the organ's transformation of sound into music. A tuning fork is a tool used to help tune instruments. Yamaha's logo consists of three tuning forks. This symbolizes how Yamaha took the idea of turning sound into music and developed it into a business and a service that we provide. Yamaha wants to be part of the experience when people enjoy sound as music. That's why Yamaha is working harder than ever towards integrating the value and appeal of music into communication and the social environment. This is the realization of our corporate objective "Creating ‘Kando’ Together". Looking at everything Yamaha has done so far, we did not do it alone. Our activities began with our partners, our employees, and more than anyone else the people who play and use our products. Music is something that should always be a part of everyone connected to the Yamaha family. If an ideal world is one where everyone can co-exist and share, then we believe that music and Yamaha have a meaningful part to play in that world.

3.What Yamaha offers the future

Bringing out the value of music to the greatest extent possible

There are many music professionals who are passionate about discovering different types of value that music possesses. Some of these professionals spend years in preparation so that a single, five-minutes performance can reach a large number of audience. Yamaha can provide the ideal tools and environment to further enrich the days that those professionals dedicate to music. Just as we have done in the past, Yamaha will continue to support the creativity of these professionals by producing environments and tools that they can enjoy using for a long time to come.

Also, it is important for people to be able to perform, listen to, and enjoy music with their friends whenever and wherever they want. With the right opportunities and tools, they can have more fun and find new ways to appreciate music as they teach and learn together. And for fans, along with enjoying their favorite artists together with other fans while building connections between themselves and the professional musicians, we feel it is important to have the right place and the right kind of technology to allow every fan to enjoy their favorite music in their own way. Looking to the future, in order to take music even further into people's lives and help fans appreciate it on an ever-deeper level, Yamaha will bring out the value of music to the greatest extent possible.

Turning the value of music into communication

The value of music is not limited to the category labeled "music." People speak to one another. They use sign language or gestures to convey what's on their minds. The silences that occur during a conversation and the smallest facial expressions can show our feelings more clearly than words. This nature of communication illustrates precisely what music is. Music transcends time and space; it transcends languages and races; it connects people through shared feelings. For example, through music, people sitting in distant meeting rooms can feel as if they are sharing the same space, a feeling of trust can be transmitted, and agreements can be reached smoothly. Or, the technology of focusing music into one direction can create a new way of communication by reaching out and whispering directly to a special person. Beyond even that, one person can beat a rhythm that can resonate with the instrument of someone else far away. Technology enabling ensemble performances can give birth to a form of communication and a sense of identity that is different from that achieved by the transmission of verbal or written information. With all this in mind, Yamaha is developing new technologies and products that will enrich communication.

Bringing the value of music into the social environment

Sometimes, after things are still for a while, you notice that time has passed by freely and easily. Even without stimulating your five senses, you can feel a sense of comfort. At Yamaha, we realize that our music making technology can be utilized to create this kind of comfort. What would it be like if we could be in a crowded place and pay no mind to other peoples' voices? What would it be like if we could become aware if the noises we make bother others? For example, technology developed in the pursuit of better acoustics can be converted into technology for keeping peoples' voices from being heard outside of a room. If you change sound into an electric signal, you can recognize the volume of the sound by seeing it with your eyes instead of hearing it with your ears. In our environment, people who feel those values are necessary and those who don't, and those who realize such things and those who don't all live together. Looking to the future, Yamaha is placing great importance on its effort to utilize music technology to make life more comfortable for everyone.