Yamaha Design “Synapses” YM-6100

2008 / MARIMBA

Yamaha's flagship marimba, the YM-6100 is the result of forty years of cooperation between Yamaha and Keiko Abe.


Designers removed the ornamental pipes from the instrument, and arranged resonance regulators facing outward to allow the performer to adjust the resonance easily. The resulting offers a functional beauty that resonates with the artist's mind.


A white rail supported on jet-black legs, looking almost as if they were supported on air. Resonators with a finish that accentuates their solidity. These elements give it an overwhelming presence, even when performing with an orchestra.


The YM-6100 features a hollowed-out wooden rail to support the tone bars: to the performer, the bars appear to float, creating an atmosphere in which it is easy to concentrate on making music.


At 272cm in length and weighing 107kg, the YM-6100 is very large for a portable instrument. However, the design supports the weight reliably and can be assembled and disassembled with ease.

Kazuhito Nakajima
Kazuhito Nakajima
Yamaha Design Laboratory

A single phrase from a top artist. Brings focus to a design.

Yamaha and Keiko Abe, a world authority on the marimba, have worked together for almost forty years and the YM-6100 is a new model that represents a pinnacle in this relationship. During the development process, Yamaha designers were privileged to enjoy many in-depth conversations with Ms. Abe and talk face-to-face with the world's top marimba artists. We believe that these interactions were extraordinarily beneficial to the rich creative design process.
In the initial stages of testing, we experimented with designs that featured ornamental pipes which were visible to the audience and more advanced than the final form of the instrument.Ms. Abe however was aiming for more reasonable, functional instrument, a desire that was illustrated in a statement that left a lasting impression on our designers, My music is modern music!
Her words were a reflection of the innovative way that marimba music has spread out; we felt that it went beyond existing preconceptions to represent an earnest willingness to meet music head on. Her words became key to our design concept, and brought clarity to even the finest details. In its final form, no pipes adorn the exterior of the YM-6100, and the resonance regulator, normally hidden from view, has been brought to the fore for easy access. Mutually inspired, the creators of this instrument, both artist and product designers, resonated together in a relationship from which emerged a new instrument for professional musicians; a result with which we are truly delighted.

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