When you hear "player piano," what do you picture? Chances are, it's one of the old-fashioned models using a roll to have the piano play back music - either a pre-perforated song or music someone just played manually.
Although many are quick to dismiss player piano rolls as an early 20th century relic, the concept lives on in practical, electronic form.
The Modern Player Piano
In Japan in the early 1980s, Yamaha introduced its Disklavier piano, conceived as a hybrid with the feel and action of an acoustic piano but designed with digital functionalities. Beyond its ability to generate notes, the Disklavier stood out from acoustic models for another distinct reason: It featured an internal computer that, novel for the time, could record and save what the player just performed onto a floppy disc. In turn, the player could listen to a nearly real-time recording without needing to use outside equipment.
Beyond what a synthesizer could deliver at that point in time, this type of player piano captured the full performance, from the player's touch, tone and dynamics to how well they kept time.
Since then, Yamaha's Disklavier set the standard both for hybrid and player pianos, turning the instrument into a tool for composing and learning by listening.
What's Unique About Player Pianos?
No longer dependent on paper rolls to play back music, modern-day player pianos:
- Use sensors to capture the notes and touch at which the player presses the keys to create a playback recording.
- Incorporate real-time technology to detect the speed at which the player completes these actions.
- Can record concerts and recitals for the purpose of listening to the player's performance.
- Now include options for sharing files and accessing them wirelessly with smartphones and tablets.
- Include a headphone jack for listening to yourself play and then studying the recording.
Find Player Pianos at Alamo Music Center
Whether you're a student looking to improve your craft or a songwriter wanting to hear your composition, Alamo Music Center offers a selection of player pianos for sale and pairs these unique instruments with installation services. Browse digital and hybrid models by Yamaha, Pearl River and more well-known brands. We offer multiple financing and layaway options, including 12- to 48-month, no-interest options at times, plus trial lessons and an extended warranty.