Yamaha Design “Synapses” CP88/CP73


Red Dot Award
iF Design Award
German Design Award
Design for Asia Awards

Designed for gigging keyboardists and discerning pianists.


We revamped our lineup by adding a standard 73-key digital piano model to the existing 88-key model CP. We abandoned the complex hierarchical menus used to date in favor of a physical interface with single-purpose buttons and knobs. Now, pianists can access functions intuitively by touch.


The aluminum housing balances both light weight and rigidity. The gently rounded angles at the top and bottom of the rear surface make the keyboard easy to carry, and emphasize its compact appearance. Leaving their thickness visible, the aluminum panels wrap around the side pads. The curves and cuts of this unprecedented structure show the care and consideration we poured into how we connected each member, and suggest both the strength and the intricacy of the instrument.


To enable more intuitive sound creation, we used three different colors to delineate the piano, electric piano, and sub sections. The functional control panel constantly shows the state of each knob and switch, and the responsive controls uplift the performer, inspiring highly creative output.


The muted glimmer of the metal body evokes the presence of a piano and a sense of belonging with the other instruments onstage that belies its compact size. Now, pianists can play with pride in sessions, and proudly present their performances to audiences both aurally and visually.

Toshihide Suzuki
Toshihide Suzuki
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Beyond intuitive—into the realm of creativity.

The CP88 and CP73 are completely new stage pianos that have almost nothing in common with the numerous other models of the CP series.
Instead of conventional hierarchical on-screen menus, we provide actual buttons and knobs dedicated to single sound adjustment functions for intuitive operation that feels like a part of the performance.
The functional, compartmentalized control panel features a color scheme that visually delineates the piano section in yellow, the electric piano section in red, and the performance-assisting sub-section in green. We also fitted each button with two LED lights that while small, make the functions easy to discern, and used rocker switches to make the act of selecting functions more pleasurable.
Our design decisions were based on more than offering just functionality and intuitive control; we are also seeking to achieve creative expression that lies beyond intuitiveness. We hope that the satisfying, intuitive operations of turning knobs, pulling levers, and pushing switches will make performers feel more at one with the piano, and enjoy playing more.
We conducted numerous tests and user interviews with acoustic and electric piano players to check how well our designs function, and to make improvements. As the musicians used the prototypes, we had them verbalize what they were thinking, and we recorded the movement of their gaze, all to create an interface intuitive enough to obviate the need to use an instruction manual, and to find out what we needed to do to help them perform even better.
We strived to create a musical instrument that allows people to exhibit their pride as pianists, and crafted the design of the CP88/73 to imbue it with a sense of belonging with the other instruments onstage. The housing features gently curved black metal panels that create a grand sense of volume, to elicit both the presence of an acoustic piano and the ease of playing a stage piano.
The lineup includes an 88-key model to serve as an acoustic piano, and a 73-key model to serve as an electric piano. With a broadly rounded edge in front of the keyboard, the 73-key model is even easier to transport than the 88-key version.
We thoroughly revised the materials and construction of these instruments, dedicating attention to even small details such as the way the buttons are used. We hope that these two models will inspire performers to take the stage with confidence, and utilize their pleasing, intuitive operations to create new expressions.

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