Have you been meaning to learn the piano, but have a hard time knowing where to start? The new Yamaha Clavinova CSP may just be the answer for you. The new piano uses a series of “Stream Lights” above each key, together with an ingenious application for iPad, to analyze your favorite music and teach it to you, making it finally possible to play that perfect version of Elton John’s Rocket Man without a single formal lesson.
The Clavinova CSP-150 and CSP-170 pianos are the first instruments that can scan audio songs, analyze the chord structure, and produce a piano score according to Yamaha, effectively making playing the piano into a more complex version of Guitar Hero.
Most of the features of the new pianos — both compact upright models that can easily fit in a living room — are accessed via an app called Smart Pianist. The app, which is currently only available for iPad (Android tablet functionality will be coming in spring 2018), takes music files from iTunes and generates a piano accompaniment, playing back the tune alongside a score, with lights above each key telling you what to play. The tablet is physically connected to the Clavinova CSP via its charging port, and sits perfectly on the music-holding rack of the piano.
“For the first time, music lovers who were previously content with passively listening to their favorite songs can now play the music of their lives, and jam along with their favorite artists, providing inspiring accompaniment the first time they sit down at the CSP,” said Yamaha marketing manager Dane Madsen in a press release. “Music lovers who have always wanted to learn to play the piano can now fulfill what for many is a lifelong dream.”
In addition to being able to analyze your favorite music, the Yamaha Smart Pianist app also features 100 built-in songs by pop heroes, ranging from songs from contemporary greats like Adele and Coldplay to classic hits by Sting and Elton John. The app also features 303 play-along lessons by acclaimed pianists for those who want to take a more formal approach.
The world of interactive music lessons and customizable next-gen instruments has been exploding of late, with companies like Fender offering more customizable amplifier tones, and startups like the Fret Zeppelin aiming to teach people to play guitar with LEDs in a similar fashion to the new Yamaha models.
At their core though, the Clavinovas remain high-quality upright pianos, and their pricing reflects that. The Clavinova CSP-150 will cost $4,000, and the higher-end CSP-170 will cost $5,400. For more information, you can check out the Yamaha website.
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