- Laurence Libin
Brand name for a range of electronic pianos introduced in 1983 by the Yamaha Corporation of Hamamatsu. These Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)-equipped instruments use an integrated synthesizer to simulate the sound of a Yamaha model CFIIIS concert grand piano. Early models did so with FM synthesis, but the technology soon changed to digital sampling. Generally regarded as the first digital pianos, Clavinovas can also provide a large palette of other imitative tones and sound effects including preset rhythms and accompaniments. Touch-sensitive keys and pedals provide audio and tactile responses modeled after those of real (acoustic) pianos. Some models use hammers of graduated weights to simulate piano touch. Interactive and accessory features, varying by model, include, among others, spatial effects that seem to adjust the room acoustics; multi-track sequencing software; metronome and recording functions; guided practice routines; website access to a music library and ability to load and save tunes; Internet connectivity; and subscription radio functionality. Clavinovas are available in vertical and small grand-piano-like cases. Some grand models incorporate a wooden soundboard like a piano’s. Like other electronic pianos, the Clavinova has proven most useful for practising and for popular entertainment....