This Tech-Savvy Piano Packs a Quiet Presence—and a Powerful Play

The Roland Kiyola piano was meticulously designed for the digital age.

The world’s latest state-of-the-art piano is made from high-quality oak wood sourced from Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, known for its rich natural resources, active volcanoes, and geothermal springs.

In collaboration with Roland, Japanese furniture company Karimoku synthesized the elegant design of a traditional instrument with the cutting-edge technology of a digital one. Enter the Kiyola piano, available exclusively at the MoMA Design Store through June 30, 2018.

“The traditional boxy style of upright pianos seems overpowering, aesthetically,” says designer Takahiko Fujimori. “We intentionally designed the Kiyola to feel like a natural part of a living space, so players would feel less intimidated and more relaxed while playing—both mentally and physically.” Resembling a living room table with four blond-wood legs that bear equal weight, the slick, pared-down design was imagined in the spirit of well-crafted Midcentury or Scandinavian furniture.

“Roland’s Progressive Damper Action pedal mechanism, which closely replicates the pedal response of an acoustic piano, allows the Kiyola to support [even] the most expressive and nuanced techniques,” says Takahiro Murai, Roland’s project lead. The technology, he continues, “allows subtle control of tone.” To maximize the potential of its keyboard, the piano is Bluetooth-compatible with iPhones or iPads and can sync up with apps like PiaScore, which grants players access to thousands of musical scores.

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Surface Studios is the brand marketing unit of Surface Media.

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