Efforts to Create New Value with Unused Materials
Since December 7, 2022, the Yamaha Ginza Shop has been holding the “Musical Instrument Wood” Exhibition, which introduces information on the wood used in musical instruments and wood and forest conservation efforts at Yamaha, as well as displays related prototypes. The first of its main exhibits displays the “Upcycling Guitar,” a concept model that utilizes unused materials, which the Research & Development Division is working on to create new value for musical instruments.
Yamaha procures and uses large amounts of wood to make its musical instruments, but unfortunately, this includes materials or cut waste that could not be used in instruments. At Yamaha, we call these “unused materials,” and we are promoting efforts to effectively utilize them as resources. The types of wood used for a wide variety of musical instruments include wood that has not been conventionally used much for guitars, but by revisiting their appeal and revitalizing them as materials for guitars, we are exploring new value for guitars. When doing so, we do not compromise quality in order to recycle materials, but instead aim to upcycle each material to utilize the value it holds.
The relationship between a musical instrument and its material is very close, and determines not only its sound, but also its appearance, size, weight, and other factors. Among them, rare types of wood, which are often used for specific musical instruments, often require many years to grow the trees, and are a finite resource. At Yamaha, we are promoting efforts to gain a deep understanding of the characteristics of materials required for musical instruments through scientific analysis of instrument performance and then apply those characteristics in designs.
By gaining a better understanding of what is truly excellent about rare types of wood and what characteristics are truly important for musical instruments, we may one day be able to create instruments that sound good no matter what material is used.
If technology that allows for sound to be produced freely from any material were to be established, then how should we make good guitars? We believe, precisely because the degree of freedom is increasing, that it will become more important to search for “new quality” together with musicians.
The “Upcycling Guitar” is a concept model for such efforts. We have also set trial performance days. We hope you will come to the Yamaha Ginza Shop and think about musical instruments and wood, as well as the new value for instruments.