The Yamaha Tenori-On has finally arrived!!!

September 26, 2007

THE BIGGEST INSTRUMENT LAUNCH OF THE YEAR – WORLD EXCLUSIVE RELEASE IN THE UK ONLY! Just a few selected shops will be selling the Yamaha Tenori-On, from October, and Dolphin Music is one of the exclusive retailers.

Media artist Toshio Iwai and Yamaha have collaborated to design a new digital musical instrument for the 21st century, TENORI-ON. A 16×16 matrix of LED switches allows everyone to play music intuitively, creating a “visible music” interface.

The Tenori-On is a revolutionary new concept, and is not only a very useful and versatile tool for professional musicians and producers, but also a fantastic instrument for those who never thought they could play anything, due to it’s “visible music” interface.

The TENORI-ON 16 x 16 LED button matrix is simultaneously a performance input controller and display. By operating and interacting with the LED buttons and the light they produce you gain access to the TENORI-ON’s numerous performance capabilities.

The TENORI-ON provides six different performance and sound/light modes for broad performance versatility, and these modes can be combined and used simultaneously for rich, complex musical expression.

TENORI-ON layers can be thought of as “performance parts” or “recording tracks.” The TENORI-ON has a total of 16 layers. Separate notes and voices can be assigned to each layer, and all layers can be played together in synchronization.

The 16 layers are divided into six performance mode groups as shown in the illustration below. The six modes have different note entry methods and operation. Up to 16 layers created using different modes can be combined for rich, complex musical expression.

Once complete set of 16 layers is called a “block.”

The TENORI-ON can store up to 16 programmed blocks (16-layer groups) in memory, and you can switch from block to block instantly during performance.

You could, for example, create a musical composition in one block, then copy that composition to another block and edit it to create a variation of the original composition. Or you can load a number of previously-created compositions into separate blocks from an SD Memory Card and switch between them to create variation during playback.

Tenori-On Design Detail

The Interface area of Tenori-On consists of a simple square of 16×16 matrix of LED switches surrounded by an aluminium frame. The upper part of the aluminium frame has two high sound quality speakers, the lower part of the aluminium section has a dial and a LCD, and both sides of the aluminium frame there are four function switchesthat change sound or image etc. These interfaces are designed with particular attention being paid to quality and ease of operation. The back of Tenori-On has a 16×16 matrix of LED lights that copy the light display produced by the LED switches of the control surface. This facilitates a beautiful light display when Tenori-On is used during stage performances, or when used for interior ornamental effect.

Tenori-On Collaboration

Tenori-On makes it possible for you to enjoy playing music and light with a friend. Using the connection Function, You can play a synchronized session or send and receive songs between 2 Tenori-Ons. Toshio Iwai and Yamaha are working together to make Tenori-On function as a brand new communication tool using light and sound right now.

The Tenori-On is available from Dolphin Music for £599, and Yamaha believes this new musical instrument will be a huge success – it’s quite possibly the most original,  innovative and versatile musical intrument to be invented in over 50 years!

The Dolphin Music website has a NEWS section full of further Tenori-On stories and videos…and here’s the product page, with further specs.


  1. I used to see this one long time ago.

  2. Great!

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