Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome To Yamaha's Online Services!

It's almost a new decade, and I imagine many of you out there are greeting the new year with a new Yamaha keyboard.  If you happen to be a lucky new owner of a Yamaha, congratulations!  As you become more acquainted with your instrument, you'll realize there are many ways to enrich and expand your own performances and the capabilities of your keyboard.  Yamaha's Online Services is here not only to help you explore your instrument and get the most from your playing, but also to make sure you stay as excited about making music with your Yamaha as you were when you first took it out of the box.  Allow me to introduce some of the many ways our services can enhance your Yamaha experience.

For starters, all of Yamaha's keyboards come with pre-loaded demo and play-along songs. The pre-loaded songs are great for showing off the sound and features of your instrument, but you can also use songs like these to accompany a performance, or help you learn to play. With thousands of MIDI songs just like the ones pre-loaded on your keyboard available at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, you can expand your library of songs and start finding new ways to learn and practice.



If you already know the basics of a song, and just need to find the right styles and voices to use on the keyboard to play it, there's the Music Finder+ feature on Internet Direct Connection. With Music Finder+ you just select the song you want to play, and your keyboard will automatically set up the correct voice and style settings to play the song perfectly. You can download thousands of Music Finder records for free from Music Finder+, or if you need to learn the chords, melody line and lyrics for a song before playing, you can also download the Performance Guide for the song through Music Finder.



You can also expand your keyboard's built in library of backing accompaniment styles with new Yamaha Premium Styles. Check out this video for an idea of what you can expect from Premium Styles:



For keyboard models that are not compatible with Premium Styles, there are still loads of other expansion styles available for download at Yamaha MusicSoft.

Keep reading for details about getting streaming radio on your instrument, as well as learning with digital sheet music and lesson books, and recording with your keyboard on your computer.

One of the most groundbreaking and useful features of Internet Direct Connection is Piano Radio. With Piano Radio your keyboard or piano becomes a performer in its own right, playing authentic reproductions of performances from renowned pianists on demand, 24 hours a day. Over a dozen channels are available, covering genres from Jazz to Pop to Worship, as well as seasonal and holiday themed channels.



You can also purchase the same recordings you hear on Piano Radio as individual PianoSoft songs and albums on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

For learning songs to perform yourself, though, there's no better tool than Digital Music Notebook. If you're learning to play a song, Just find the song you want from the library of over 10,000 songs, download the sheet music and start playing. Or, if you're looking to improve your overall keyboard playing, you can use digital lesson books - which come complete with hands on examples and interactive practice songs and phrases - to brush up your skills. The free Digital Music Notebook player program gives you all of the tools you need to learn and play along with the songs in your library, as well print hard copies of the sheet music, and even load MIDI versions of the songs on your instrument with the Keyboard Sync function.



Want to do even more with your keyboard? A variety of computer software is available at Yamaha MusicSoft, that can expand your musical experience beyond your keyboard into the realm of professional recording and composition.  Finale SongWriter 2010 is a great way to start recording, composing and notating your own songs, complete with everything you need to record your songs to MP3 and even print sheet music. There are also accessories, such as the Yamaha FC5 sustain pedal available at Yamaha MusicSoft that can expand your keyboard's performance capabilities.

Of course, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or contact us by email or phone.

Happy new year, and we'll see you in 2010!

- Doug

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Celebrate the New Year With Discounts On the Best Music of 2009

As we stand on the brink of a new decade, let's take a moment to look back on the music of the past year. While it presented an opportunity to remember the greatness of Michael Jackson, 2009 also gave us new stars, and tons of great new songs that you can now learn and play on your keyboard!

To help you learn and enjoy the best music of 2009 on your keyboard, we've put together four collections of songs featuring the biggest hits of the year, all discounted 20% from their usual price. Two collections of digital sheet music are available at Digital Music Notebook, and two more collections of XG MIDI Songs are available at Yamaha MusicSoft.

The Best of 2009, Volume 1 includes the Black Eyed Peas, who were certainly the year's biggest band, with their hits "I Gotta Feelin" and "Boom Boom Pow" topping the charts around the world. The two songs combined to help the Black Eyed Peas break a US pop record, sitting at #1 on the charts for 26 straight weeks. Their songs were pure fun, and provided a perfect soundtrack for the summer of 2009.

The Best of 2009, Volume 2, however, features two young ladies who stood out from the crowd in 2009 and have given us some of the best songs of the year. Taylor Swift was country music's biggest sensation this year, as she broke onto the pop charts with "Love Story" and "You Belong With Me". Meanwhile, Lady Gaga brought put the style and decadence of disco back into pop music with "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi". Taylor and Lady Gaga, at ages 20 and 23 respectively, are just getting started making hits and we'll be very surprised if they don't keep it up throughout the next decade.

Keep reading for a full list of our picks for the best of 2009.

The Best of 2009, Volume 1 - Digital Music Notebook


Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feelin
Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
Beyonce - Halo
Taylor Swift - Love Story


The Best of 2009, Volume 2 - Digital Music Notebook



Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
Taylor Swift - You Belong With Me
Carrie Underwood - Cowboy Casanova
Miley Cyrus - The Climb
The Fray - You Found Me


The Best of 2009, Volume 1 - Yamaha MusicSoft


Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feelin
Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
Beyonce - Sweet Dreams
The Fray - You Found Me


The Best of 2009, Volume 2 - Yamaha MusicSoft

Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
Owl City - Fireflies
Mariah Carey - Obsessed
Nickelback - If Today Was Your Last Day
Taylor Swift - Love Story

Happy New Year!

- Doug

Explore the Latest Yamaha Keyboards and Pianos with New Videos from Yamaha Europe

Thanks to five new videos from Yamaha Europe, you can now explore Yamaha's latest keyboards and pianos with informative explanations and beautiful demonstrations from Yamaha's own Bert Smorenburg, Michel Voncken and Joachim Wolf.

Watching these videos, it's impossible not to get excited about making music with Yamaha keyboards. For example, take a look at Bert Smorenberg's demonstration of the S70XS synthesizer. In only five minutes, Bert shows you everything this keyboard can do, from recording, to real time control of effects, to all of the amazing sounds you can use and create with the vocoder function, layering, and more.




In other new videos, Bert delves into all of the functions of the Disklaver E3 and Yamaha Silent Piano, explaining all of the amazing recording and playback features of these remarkable acoustic/electronic instruments. Joachim Wolf covers the newest Clavinovas, the CVP-500 series, in detail showcasing their amazing sound and features, and Michel Voncken investigates the PSR-S710 and S910.

All of the videos are also available with German narration from the official Yamaha YouTube channel.

Keep reading for videos covering the PSR-S710 and S910, the CVP 500 series, and Disklavier E3.












- Doug

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays From Yamaha Music Interactive!

Best wishes to you and yours from the whole Yamaha Music Interactive staff.




On behalf of Yamaha, have a happy holiday and a joyous new year!

- Your friends at Yamaha Music Interactive
(Yamaha MusicSoft, Internet Direct Connection & Digital Music Notebook)

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Week's New Songs: Taylor Swift, Black Eyed Peas, Norah Jones & More


Some of the biggest songs of 2009 have just arrived on Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, just in time for Christmas.  Check out songs from Taylor Swift, Sean Kingston, Norah Jones, and this year's undisputed pop chart champions, the Black Eyed Peas.

If you managed to go through all of 2009 without getting a Black Eyed Peas song stuck in your head, congratulations - you are in select company.  The Black Eyed Peas were inescapable this year, putting three songs at the top of the charts around the world.  "I Gotta Feelin" was arguably their biggest hit, going to #1 in 19 different countries.  The song's melody and vocal tradeoffs make it a shoe-in for the karaoke sing-along song of the year, and its synth based instrumentation will sound great on your Yamaha keyboard.


The Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feelin



Since making her name with the jazz inflected piano balladry of her debut album, Come Away With Me, Norah Jones has come a long way from the piano bar.  She's starred in a film with acclaimed director Wang Kar-Wai, collaborated with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Mike Patton, and this year released her latest album, The Fall. The first single from the album, "Chasing Pirates", shows Jones taking her music into new territory, while maintaining the smooth lyricism that made songs like "Don't Know Why" so irresistible.  Lead by a bouncy organ line, the song hearkens back to the 70s sounds of Steely Dan which, as our MIDI version of "Peg" shows, means it'll it'll be tons of fun to listen to and play along with on your keyboard.

Norah Jones - Chasing Pirates



Taylor Swift's Fearless has become one of the most successful records ever to bridge the worlds of country and pop.  Classic pop songs like "Love Story" sit alongside country tunes like "White Horse", and with the release of "Jump Then Fall" Taylor has now struck gold with the fifth single from the record.  Fans of Taylor's blend of pop and country will not be disappointed with this wonderfully upbeat acoustic guitar driven love song.

Taylor Swift - Jump Then Fall



Keep reading for a full list of this week's new releases.

This Week's New Songs

I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
Chasing Pirates - Norah Jones
It's Gonna Be - Norah Jones
Jump Then Fall - Taylor Swift
You Should Be Dancing [from "Saturday Night Fever"] - The Bee Gees
Fire Burning - Sean Kingston
Elenore - The Turtles
American Idol Theme - The Idolatry Pop Orchestra

- Doug

Floppy Free PianoSoft Downloads - Popular Albums Now Available for More Instruments

We're constantly expanding our PianoSoft catalog, not only with new songs and albums, but also by making PianoSoft available for more and more Yamaha instruments.

Over the past couple weeks we've expanded a number of our most popular albums into new formats, which means that if you use a Yamaha keyboard, Clavinova or a Mark IV or E3 Disklavier, there are a bunch of great PianoSoft albums that are newly available for your instrument.

For anyone without either a floppy disk drive on their computer or their instrument (which is probably most of you), we have new downloads for recent Disklavier and keyboard models which you can download onto your computer, then transfer to a USB flash drive and into your instrument.  And, for all Yamaha keyboard and Clavinova users, we have new downloads for Yamaha keyboards that are specially calibrated for your instrument.

While we've released updates for more than 70 albums, we've picked out some of our favorites below to give you a taste of what's available.  And remember - all PianoSoft downloads are still 20% off until Thursday night!

New Downloads for Recent Disklavier and Keyboard Models

The Rags of Scott Joplin

The Lyrical John Williams
"Am I Blue" - The Plaintive Side of Love
The Seasonal Hymnal
Celebrate America
"This Is My Country" - Songs of America
Newport Music Festival 2008: Mozart Sonatas
"Feelings" - Cocktail Hour
"Somewhere in Time" - The Best of John Barry

New Downloads for Yamaha Keyboards

The Nutcracker
Christmas Carols
Songs For Christmas - Volume 2
Traditional Christmas "Sing-Along"
Christmas Fantasy
The Best of Elton John
The Best of Chicago
Sacred Christmas Solos
A Cunliffe Christmas
Eight Days and Nights - A Holiday Collection

- Doug

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Download Sale - 20% Off Style, MIDI & PianoSoft Downloads Until Christmas

The halls are decked with boughs of holly, chestnuts are roasting on open fires, and the (digital) shelves at Yamaha MusicSoft, Internet Direct Connection and Digital Music Notebook are fully stocked with Christmas and holiday songs.

The holiday season is in full swing, but just in case you need another excuse to get musical in the last week before Christmas, you can take 20% off all downloadable MIDI songs, Styles and PianoSoft until December 25th!

We've released tons of new Christmas songs this week, and with a 20% discount on all of them, there's no better time to try them out! Also, with all PianoSoft downloads on sale, it's a great time to take a look through our newly expanded library of downloadable PianoSoft albums.

Have a great weekend!

- Doug

*Sale provides a 20% discount on all downloadable PianoSoft, MIDI Files and Styles at Yamaha MusicSoft, as well as all PianoSoft, MIDI Songs, Music Finder+ Performance Guides, Digital Sheet Music and Styles at Internet Direct Connection. Sale runs from 10:30am December 18th EST to 12am December 25th EST.

PianoSoft Update: New R&B and Jazz Releases + New Downloads

This week we have two new PianoSoft releases to announce, as well as exciting news for those of you who have been waiting for some of our catalog to become available in downloadable versions.

For the totally new "Soul Man - Great R&B" album, Joel Plimmer has arranged some of the greatest soul, funk and R&B songs of the 60s and 70s for piano with MIDI accompaniment.  The chosen songs show the breadth of R&B music during the era, moving from the classic balladry of "When a Man Loves a Woman" to the unforgettable groove of "It's Your Thing". Throughout the album, Plimmer creates arrangements that put piano at the forefront, while staying true to the records and performances that have made these songs so memorable.



As its title suggests, "The Artistry of Philippe Saisse" showcases the talents of contemporary jazz pianist extraordinaire, and recent Grammy nominee, Philippe Saisse.  One of the foremost contemporary jazz artists working today, Saisse can count among his credits a stint in the "Sunday Night" house band beside David Sanborn, studio work with artists ranging from David Bowie to Al Jarreau, and slew of acclaimed smooth and contemporary jazz recordings.  On this PianoSoft album, Saisse plays piano solo arrangements of some of his favorite originals like "Sitting on the Edge of the World" and "La Vie". In this solo piano setting, the beauty and subtlety of Saisse's piano work are able to shine through wonderfully.



Also, if your instrument doesn't have a floppy disk drive, and you've been waiting for us to finally release download versions of the albums we've only had available on disks, the wait is over!  We've released new download versions for 12 of our most popular albums this week, including "Christmas Favorites", and music from the musical "Chicago".  So for all of you out there using a Disklavier E3, 400 or 500 series Clavinova, or a recent PSR or Tyros keyboard, this means there are another 12 PianoSoft albums that are new for you this week!  Keep reading for a full list of new albums.

New Releases

The Artistry of Philippe Saisse
Soul Man - Great R&B

New Downloads

Chicago
Christmas Favorites
Bacharach & David Songbook
Mancini Magic
Lady Sings The Blues
Stage And Screen
Mike Garson Trio - Live!
Mike Garson Trio - Live - Volume II
Nice & Easy Volume 1
Nice & Easy Volume 2
The Michel Legrand Songbook
Sweet Fifties


- Doug

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Brighten Up the Holidays With New MIDI Songs Direct From Germany

Over the past few months we've been working feverishly with our friends over at the German Download Shop to make the wonderful songs and styles that they've created available on Yamaha MusicSoft. And, just in time for the holidays, we're finished. There are now over 1,000 songs from the German Download Shop available at Yamaha MusicSoft, including tons of new holiday and Christmas songs.

Over the coming weeks we will be picking through this mountain of new songs to find the specific songs that we think will be the most fun for you to learn and play along with on your keyboard.

What that means for now, almost exactly a week from Christmas and nearing the end of Hanukkah, is holiday music! Below you can find a sampling of some of the newest and most popular holiday songs from the German Download Shop, or keep reading further for a more complete list.

Country Christmas Songs

Blue Christmas - Clay Walker
Country Christmas - Ricky Van Shelton
Mr. Santa (Mr. Sandmann) - Christmas Tribute
Run Run Rudolph - Dwight Yoakam
Two Step Round The Christmas Tree - Suzy Bogguss

Traditional Christmas Songs

Ave Maria - Paldauer
Es ist ein Ros entsprungen - Traditional
Gloria in excelsis deo (modern) - DJ Santa
Kommet ihr Hirten - Traditional
O Tannenbaum - Traditional

Weihnacht Schlager

A bärige Weihnacht - Hansi Hinterseer
Ich denk an Weihnachten - Michael Wendler
Weihnachtszeit-Schlittenfahrt - Gaby Baginsky
Weihnacht überall - Judith & Mel
Weisse Weihnacht - Stefanie Hertel

Keep reading
for more songs.

More New Christmas MIDI Songs

Stille Nacht - Paldauer
Sleigh Ride - Boston Pops Orchestra
Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - Mel & Kim
The Little Drummer Boy - Kelly Family
When A Child Is Born - Boney M.
Please Come Home For Christmas - Bon Jovi
The First Noel - Boney M.
Winterwunderland (Winter Wonderland)- Hansi Hinterseer

International Holiday Songs

Morgen Kinder wird´s was geben - Michel Voncken / arr. James Last
Süßer die Glocken nie klingen - Michel Voncken / arr. James Last
Oh Du Fröhliche - Michel Voncken / arr. James Last
Silver Bells - Michel Voncken / Captain Cook & die singenden Saxophone
Aba Heidschi Bum Beidschi - Michel Voncken / arr. James Last
Schöne Weihnachtszeit Medley 1 - Paldauer
Weihnachts Medley 2 - Pepe Solera
Winterkinder - Rolf Zuckowski
Petersburger Schlittenfahrt - James Last (Instrumental)
Paa Loftet Sidder Nissen Med Sin Julegroed - Bjørn & Okay / Danish Christmas Song
Chtic, aby spal - Czech Christmas Traditional
Purpura Jiří Suchý (Czech Christmas Song)
Still, still, still, weil's Kindlein schlafen will - Hansi Hinterseer (Traditional)
Soeren Banjomus (Danish christmas song) - Various Artists
Julen är här igen - Christer Sjögren & Vikingarna / Swedish Christmas Song


- Doug

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Get Merry with Tyros3 Premium Packs and Voices


While it's easy for us to sit back here in our New York office and tell you about all the ways you could be creating wonderful Christmas music with your Yamaha keyboard, it's much more fulfilling, and much more fun, to do it ourselves. Today we present some of the fruits of our labors, with some Tyros3 holiday performances from our own analyst/resident composer and pianist, Aki.

If you're looking to get into the holiday spirit with some festive music, or seeking inspiration to go out and create some of your own, these videos are a great place to start. Of course, they also show off how well the sounds from the new Tyros3 Premium Voices and Packs enliven the music of the holidays.

Take a listen to how beautiful the new SA2 Pan Flutes - the Latin Pan Flute, to be specific - sound, playing perhaps the most famous song ever about a tree, "O Christmas Tree".



Or take a listen to the HuhStrong Choir voice from the Choir and Vocals pack on "Auld Lang Syne". We felt that the Celtic Xmas style was especially well suited to this Scottish song, which has become a New Year's theme around the world.



Keep reading for videos featuring an organ rendition of "Joy to the World" and a performance of "The First Noel" highlighting the SA2 Trombone voice.

Joy to the World - Euro and US Organs


The First Noel - SA2 Trombone


- Doug

Friday, December 11, 2009

20% Off All PianoSoft Disks This Weekend


We may be down to the last two weeks before Christmas, but don't panic! There's still time to get the PianoSoft disks you need for the holidays this year, and we're making it easier than ever with a 20% discount this weekend.

Choose from all PianoSoft Solo, PianoSoft Plus and Smart PianoSoft disks, as well as PianoSoft Plus Audio CDs, and get the albums delivered just in time for the height of the holiday season.

With PianoSoft, you can enjoy original, professional performances of holiday music on your keyboard or Disklavier. PianoSoft music is an excellent way to rouse the spirit of the season, or set the mood for a holiday party. And just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you can't explore different styles of music - our collection includes samba, jazz, and country themed holiday albums as well as contemplative new age and the traditional renditions we've all come to know and love.  For the sake of convenience, PianoSoft is available both on disks and CDs, and in digital download versions, so you can start enjoying the music instantly.

Here's wishing you a fun, musical weekend!

- Doug

*Sale provides a 20% discount on all PianoSoft disks and CDs at Yamaha MusicSoft. Sale runs from 12am December 11th EST to 12am December 15th EST.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

PianoSoft Behind the Scenes: And the Grammy Goes To...

Our resident PianoSoft insider, Cathy, is back again - this time to tell us about the special impact last week's Grammy nominations had on some of our PianoSoft artists.

A few days ago Jim Leahy (a Yamaha Content Research & Development engineer/editor/good friend) and I received an email from Tom Zink. Those of you who own any PianoSoft probably recognize Tom's name, since he has had a hand in producing a large percentage of the PianoSoft library as an artist, engineer, editor and QC specialist.

Tom's email said that he had something "unbelievable" to tell us. My first thought was that maybe Tom had gotten a new cat (OK, I have a one-track mind) and Jim thought maybe he'd won the lottery. Tom said that he would be calling us later in the day to explain, but Jim and I, being the nosy people we are, couldn't wait, so we called him.

The excellent news was that he was nominated for a Grammy Award! Tom has been nominated in the Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) category for his arrangement of "In the Still of the Night" on vocalist Anne Walsh's album, Pretty World. Tom arranged all of the songs on the album for Walsh, who is also Tom’s gorgeous and talented wife, and also played piano and keyboards on the album.

Jim and I both agreed that this was wonderful news but not "unbelievable", as we have known Tom and have been aware of his considerable talents for many years. We were originally introduced to Tom roughly twenty years ago (is that possible?) when he was engaged to record orchestral backgrounds for PianoSoft Plus concerto projects. We soon discovered Tom’s range of talents, which go beyond arranging and orchestrating to skills as a pianist, engineer, editor, MIDI developer and more. Tom has contributed a number of wonderful performances to the PianoSoft library over the years. He has also been very important on the production side of PianoSoft, serving as a member of the very small team of PianoSoft QC specialists, and producing and recording nearly all of the PianoSoft Plus Audio CDs at Ming Dynasty Studio, his very fine studio in Long Beach, CA

We offer our sincere congratulations to Tom, Anne and the ensemble for their nomination. Of course, Tom isn't the only PianoSoft artist that deserves congratulations. Several other PianoSoft artists also received Grammy Nominations this year:

Jim Brickman: Best New Age Album – Faith
Chick Corea: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group - Five Peace Band — Live
Bob Florence: Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album – Legendary
Bob Florence: Best Instrumental Composition – "Fluffy"

We are so pleased and honored to offer the performances of these gifted artists in our PianoSoft library. Without them there is no way Yamaha could maintain the high quality level of PianoSoft we all enjoy!

Check the links below to find PianoSoft albums from all of our Grammy nominated artists:

Tom Zink - Jim Brickman - Chick Corea - Bob Florence

Happy Holidays!!

- Cathy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

New Songs & Styles This Week - Tyros3 Christmas Carols, Shuffle Styles & More

If you're looking for new songs and styles, then Santa has come early this year - we've got tons of new releases to announce this week.

This week's songs include Christmas music that's new in more ways than one.  First, with R&B producer Babyface's rendition of "Sleigh Ride" and country star Alan Jackson's version of "A Holly Jolly Christmas", you can enjoy renditions of holiday classics with a contemporary twist.  Also available are more recent holiday originals from Slade, David Essex and Chris Rea.



We also have 5 new "shuffle" styles available this week.  "Shakin Shuffle" and "9 to 5 Shuffle" feature upbeat horn arrangements that add accentuate the jazzy feel of the accompaniment.  "Unplugged Shuffle" is a lovely pop beat with acoustic guitar accents on the offbeats that for an interesting rhythmic change of pace. For a country twang with piano and steel guitar, "Farmer Shuffle" is the perfect style, or for a basic and versatile shuffle beat, try "Smiling Shuffle".  You can also get four of these new styles at half the usual price with the "Shuffle 3" pack!



On top of that, we have over 15 more new songs, including hits from Phil Collins, Michael Buble and more, available this week  Keep reading for a full list of new songs and styles.

Christmas Songs


Sleigh Ride - Babyface


Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade


A Winter's Tale - David Essex


Driving Home For Christmas - Chris Rea


A Holly Jolly Christmas - Alan Jackson



Styles

Shuffle 3 Pack - Get 4 styles for the price of 2!

Smiling Shuffle


Farmer Shuffle


9 To 5 Shuffle


Unplugged Shuffle


Shakin Shuffle



New Songs

ABBA - Why Did It Have To Be Me
Brad Paisley - Letter To Me
Chris Rea - I Can Hear Your Heart Beat
Frank Sinatra - Fly Me To The Moon
Rod Stewart - Blue Moon
Sweet - Funny Funny
Eddie Grant - I Don't Wanna Dance
Brian Poole And The Tremoloes - Someone Someone
Sedaka Niel - Little Devil
John Fogerty - Garden Party
Masquerade - Guardian Angel
Phil Collins - Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
The Maverick - Pizziricco
Michael Bublé - Summerwind
Alan Jackson - It Must Be Love
Randy Travis - This Is Me
Westlife - Mandy
The Real Thing - You To Me Are Everything

- Doug

Live Yamaha Concert Tonight - Featuring Trumpeter Jens Lindemann


Thanks to the Yamaha Hub, Disneyland and trumpeter Jens Lindemann you can spend this evening taking in a thrilling concert from one of the world's premier trumpeters live from an idyllic Southern California resort.

Today's concert is the second in Yamaha's series of live performances from the Disneyland resort. It will be broadcast from Disney's California Adventure Park starting at 5pm Pacific Time on the Yamaha Hub website, and will feature the music of acclaimed trumpeter Jens Lindemann with accompaniment from a Yamaha MODUS piano. This concert will be followed by one more event this month December before the series wraps up with the Grand Prize giveaway concert and simulcast on January 17, 2010. All performances will feature well known and admired Yamaha artists. For the most updated schedule, visit www.yamahahub.com.

Also, a code will be shown during each broadcast, which can be redeemed through The Hub website or through an SMS message. Prizes will be awarded during each broadcast. The Grand Prize, consisting of a Yamaha home theater system and a Disneyland vacation, will be awarded at the close of the final concert broadcast coinciding with the 2010 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif. You can tune in to www.cli.gs/yamaha for all of the live broadcasts.

Make sure to tune in to the Yamaha Hub here for the live streaming broadcast, starting at 5pm PST today.

- Doug

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Learn and Play With Grammy Nominated Songs and Artists


The nominees for the 2010 Grammy awards have been announced, and we're proud to say that many Yamaha artists are among the nominees, including Jim Brickman, Jason Mraz and The Fray. Check out a summary of some of the biggest potential award winners below, as well as links to MIDI versions of nominated songs that you can load, learn and enjoy on your keyboard.

Kings Of Leon, “Use Somebody
Nominated for Best Rock Song, Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and Song of the Year



"Use Somebody" is undoubtedly this year's biggest rock anthem - the perfect song to belt out on stage or in your living room.

Lady Gaga, “Poker Face” and The Fame
Nominated for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Dance Recording, and Best Electronic/Dance Album



While she missed out on a Best New Artist nomination, if there was an award for Pop Superstar of the year, Lady Gaga would be a lock to win it. Plus she's written some pretty catchy dance tracks this year, too. More hits from The Fame, such as "Paparazzi" and "LoveGame" are also available at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

Beyonce, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and I Am...Sasha Fierce
Nominated for Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance



"Single Ladies" may have one of the best videos of all time, but it's also an amazing song - something Grammys obviously noticed in nominating it for Song of the Year.

Keep reading for a full list of Grammy nominated songs and artists available for your keyboard.

Jim Brickman, Faith
Nominated for Best New Age Album
PianoSoft lovers can enjoy Yamaha artist Jim Brickman's masterful piano work on "The Romance of Jim Brickman" and his Christmas recording, "Winter Peace".

Jason Mraz, "Make It Mine", "Lucky"
Nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals
This Yamaha guitar artist continues his Grammy success after last year's Song of the Year nomination for "I'm Yours".

The Fray, "Never Say Never" and The Fray
Nominated for Best Performance by Pop Duo or Group, and Best Pop Vocal Album
These Yamaha piano artists nab two Grammy nominations for the emotional ballads on their self titled second album.

Taylor Swift, Fearless
Nominated for Best Country Album, and Album of the Year
Songs like "Love Story" have helped Taylor Swift become a pop sensation this year, and the Grammys have recognized her talented-beyond-her-years songwriting skills with eight nominations.

Colbie Caillat, Breakthrough
Nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album
Her second album, featuring the adult contemporary hit, "Fallin' For You", could prove to be a true Grammy breakthrough this year.

Katy Perry, “Hot N Cold
Nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Bruce Springsteen, “Working On A Dream
Nominated for Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Solo Vocal Performance

Depeche Mode, Sounds Of The Universe
Nominated for Best Alternative Music Album
Featuring the single, "Wrong".

U2, No Line On The Horizon
Nominated for Best Rock Album
Featuring the single, "Get On Your Boots".

Pink, Funhouse
Nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album
Featuring the single, "So What".


- Doug

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Videos Featuring Jason Nyberg & Martin Harris - Premium Styles, Music Finder + & Digital Music Notebook


For your viewing pleasure this week, we proudly present three new videos starring Yamaha's own Jason Nyberg and Martin Harris.

With these videos you'll get the scoop on three of the online services Yamaha has to offer for keyboard users - Music Finder +, the best way to set up your keyboard to play your favorite songs, as well as Premium Styles, and Yamaha's free digital sheet music program, Digital Music Notebook.

While providing an introduction to what you can do with these services on your keyboard, Jason and Martin also offer some exciting musical demonstrations, so even if you're already familiar with these services there's a lot here to learn and enjoy.



Click here for the new Digital Music Notebook and Premium Styles videos.





- Doug

Monday, November 30, 2009

More New Premium Voices For the Tyros3 - Super Articulation 2 Pan Flutes


The pan flutes are a majestic and ancient instrument, with varieties that have been used for centuries throughout Asia, Europe and South America. Now, with the new Pan Flutes Premium Voices we've released today at Yamaha MusicSoft, the Tyros3 can produce the same haunting, beautiful tones that you'd hear from a finely crafted pan flute.

The new Pan Flutes include two Super Articulation 2 voices that bring together all of the details and nuances of the pan flute’s sound and cover the full extent of the instrument’s stylistic range.

The Romanian pan flute sound has been featured in countless romantic ballads and movie themes and, thanks to Super Articulation 2 technology, you can recreate its timeless beauty with the expressive Ballad Pan Flute voice.  The Super Articulation 2 Latin Pan Flute, on the other hand, perfectly recreates the harder attack and dramatic, overblown octave jumps synonymous with Latin American folk music.

To give you a sense of what you can do with the new voices, the wonderfully talented Martin Harris has recorded demonstrations of both the Romanian and Latin Pan Flutes.



Video of the Latin Pan Flute is available here.

The pack also includes 16 new registrations that you can use to set up your keyboard to automatically sound great with the new Pan Flute voices, as well as two demo songs.  One of the demo songs included is a rendition of "Silent Night", which demonstrates how perfectly suited the Pan Flute sounds are to playing holiday music on your Tyros3.



While this demo song gives you some idea of how great the Pan Flutes can sound, it also gives you the chance to create your own performance with the new voices - just mute the melody track and add your own performance with a Pan Flute voice.

Also, the pan flute is a popular voice for melodies in MIDI songs such as this one.  With the new Premium Pan Flutes installed on your Tyros3, you can replace the original pan flute voices assigned to the melodies in MIDI songs with one of the new SA2 Pan Flutes to enhance your listening experience. 

As with all Premium Styles, Packs and Voices, the new Pan Flutes Voices were created by the same Yamaha research and development team responsible for the Tyros3’s built-in sounds and styles. Since the new Voices were held to the same exact standards as those already on the instrument, they will live up to the same high sound quality that Tyros3 users are accustomed to from the built-in voices.  And, with Super Articulation 2 technology, these voices give you total control over every nuance of the sound, such as breath noise and harmonics.

The new Pan Flutes expand on the current lineup of Yamaha Premium Packs and Voices for the Tyros3, which include the Choir and Vocals Pack, the Euro and US Organs Pack and the Super Articulation 2 Trombone Voice.

- Doug

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Holiday Sale - 20% Off Everything on Yamaha MusicSoft & Internet Direct Connection


Today marks the beginning of our annual holiday sale at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, which means that from now until next Tuesday, everything - all MIDI files, Styles, PianoSoft, sheet music & music books, DVDs, keyboard accessories, and computer software - is on sale.*


While digital sheet music at Digital Music Notebook is not on sale this weekend, all songs are still only $3.95.  Each song includes a hard copy of the sheet music to print out and a MIDI file you can transfer to your keyboard, and all for less than half the price you'd pay for the two separately elsewhere!

Also, since this is prime gift buying season, don't forget to check our holiday gift suggestions.  And while you're at it, why not take a look at all the holiday music we have in stock to help you learn and celebrate this year?

And with that we'd like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all of our U.S. customers, and to everyone - we'll see you next week with more exciting announcements and new products.

Happy shopping!

- Doug

* Sale runs from 12am EST November 25th to 12am EST December 1st, 2009.  Sale covers all products on Internet Direct Connection and Yamaha MusicSoft, with the exception Premium Packs & Voices, Piano Radio subscriptions, and Passport to Music subscriptions.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your Holiday Shopping List at Yamaha MusicSoft


You're a busy person, and we know that sometimes you don't have time to sift through a catalog or website to find what you need this time of year.  That's why we've put together a list of music products for the holidays that will take you straight to the good stuff this holiday season.

Click here to see our holiday shopping guide.

For anyone searching for musical presents to give, we've got great gift ideas - if you have a musician or music fan on your list, we have suggestions for ways to make their holiday musical and memorable.  From keyboard accessories that can add expressiveness to any performance, to instructional materials for beginning piano or keyboard players, to DVDs and books that will entertain music lovers of all types - it's all here at Yamaha MusicSoft.

Of course, the holidays aren't just about presents - there's a special warmth that comes with the season, and holiday music is the perfect way to express and evoke that feeling.  And there is no better way to experience your favorite holiday songs than by playing them yourself.  At Yamaha MusicSoft we have all the tools you need to learn and perform the holiday songs you love, and we've put together lists of  MIDI songs you can load and play along with your instrument, as well as song books and sheet music full of seasonal classics.

Or, if letting your Yamaha instrument take care of the performance is what you're after this holiday, we've made a list of our best holiday themed PianoSoft albums.  With PianoSoft, you can enjoy original, professional performances of holiday music on your keyboard or Disklavier.  PianoSoft music is an excellent way to rouse the spirit of the season, or set the mood for a holiday party.  And just because it's the holidays doesn't mean you can't explore different styles of music - our collection includes samba, jazz, and country themed holiday albums as well as contemplative new age and the traditional renditions we've all come to know and love.

If you're looking for something else this season, just let us know!  We'll be happy to help you find what you want and make sure your holidays are musical and magical.

- Doug

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Songs - Owl City, Christmas Music From John Lennon & More

Between the holiday season and the appearance of great new songs on the charts, we've got lots of updates for you this week.  Our new songs include recent releases from Owl City, Train and the Fray, as well as Christmas music from John Lennon, Peggy Lee and Third Day.

A blend of holiday inspired optimism, political protest and general goodwill towards men, "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" has outlived its association with the Vietnam war to become a Christmas classic.  Written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1971, and recorded with the help of legendary producer Phil Spector and the Harlem Community Choir, the song was also re-released in 1980 and is thought to be have been a "secret" number one hit in the UK (the UK charts did not report a #1 record for the week of Jan. 3rd, 1981, but it is widely believed that if they had, "Happy Xmas" would have been it).  The song features a catchy simple and uplifting chorus, festive glockenspiel, and a wonderful Christmas message, making it one of pop music's most enduring contributions to the canon of holiday music.



While world peace is a certainly something everyone should keep in mind at Christmas, most of us are probably more concerned with presents.  So, for everyone that's dreaming of yachts, cars and cash, there's "Santa Baby". Originally recorded in 1953 by Eartha Kitt, the song, with its emphasis on Chrismas's more indulgent side, has also become a favorite among today's glamorous pop stars, such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue.  The arrangement here stays faithful to Kitt's original jazzy arrangement.



Of course, it isn't quite Christmas yet and there's still a lot of great non-holiday-related music being released, such as the new electronic pop hit by Owl City, "Fireflies".  The song hit #1 on the US charts earlier this month, and with its synth heavy arrangement and heartfelt vocal line, it should also be a hit on your keyboard.



Of course, there's more where that came from - keep reading for a full list of new songs.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon & Yoko Ono


Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt


Happy Holiday - Peggy Lee


Manger Throne - Third Day with Derri Daugherty & Julie Miller


Time for Miracles - Adam Lambert


Fireflies - Owl City


Never Say Never - The Fray


Hey, Soul Sister - Train


- Doug