Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Premium Styles - Latin, Country and 80's Sounds

This week's new Premium Styles expand your keyboard with new sounds for your country, electro-pop and latin songs. Old Country Pop, with a light shuffling rhythm and slide guitar, will sound great as an accompaniment to performances of upbeat country standards. 80's Sister Pop is full of great vintage synth sounds that, along with a great pop beat heavy on beats 2 and 4, will give you everything you need to conjure up the sound of the 80s. And finally, Cumbia Nortena adds Mexican latin flavor with horns, accordion and claves.

Old Country Pop and Cumbia Nortena are new for the Tyros3, while the 80's Sister Pop style, previously only available for the Tyros3, is now available in versions for the Tyros2, CVP series Clavinovas and PSR keyboards.

Cumbia Nortena - Cumbia music grew out of the African musical traditions brought by Spanish slaves in Colombia, and now is one of the most popular musical genres throughout Latin America. Using a variety of percussion, as well as melodic instruments ranging from guitar and according to flutes and horns, cumbia today has a very diverse sound. The norteña style of cumbia is one of cumbia's many regional variations, native to Mexico. This particular style file is great for modern cumbia performances, with drum set and claves for percussion, accordion and electric guitars playing harmony and rhythms, and horns on the melody line.

The new releases also give us a chance to enjoy two brand new demonstration videos from Martin Harris - take a look below.

Old Country Pop - Recreate the sound of Texan singer songwriters from the 1970’s.

80's Sister Pop - 80’s popular music was heavily influenced by the introduction of the synthesizer. Set in the mid-80’s this Style recreates the synthpop sound we all remember – and love!

All files are available on both Yamaha MusicSoft - Yamaha's official online store - and Internet Direct Connection - Yamaha's official "on-instrument" website. In addition to providing new songs, styles, lessons, and streaming radio for your instrument, Internet Direct Connection also offers a variety of free stuff such instrument setups and registration patches and two free radio channels. If you're new to Internet Direct Connection, you can get tons of information at our Online Services website.

- Doug

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Start Learning Piano Now - Introducing Digital Lesson Books

Today we're proud to announce the latest addition to Yamaha's Online Services, Digital Lesson Books.

Starting with some of the world's most popular piano lesson books, and adding an innovative online book viewer, the new Digital Lesson Books offer a great new way to learn to play.  In addition to providing an easy to use online reader that lets you get the books instantly on your computer, each Digital Lesson Book also includes integrated multimedia, such as video and audio guides, to help you learn.

The Digital Lesson Books viewer was developed with technology from VCAB to make reading and learning with lesson books as simple and effective as possible.  With the viewer, you can read any book right from your internet browser and easily navigate between pages and chapters, zoom in and out, view videos and listen to audio examples.

Digital Lesson Books are a product of YMH Digital Music Publishing, a joint venture from Yamaha, and the world's two largest printed music publishers, Music Sales Ltd. and Hal Leonard so the selection of lesson books is top notch. Currently available online book material covers piano instruction for all ages and abilities over a broad range of genres and styles, and includes well known bestsellers such as Absolute Beginners Piano and the Hal Leonard Adult Piano Method.  There are currently 100 piano and keyboard digital lessons books available from Yamaha MusicSoft, with new titles being added on a regular basis.

Go to Yamaha MusicSoft right now to take a look at the full lesson selection, and try out preview versions of each book.

Note: the Digital Lesson Books viewer does require the Adobe Flash Player, version 9 or higher to read or preview books.  If you need to install the player, you can get it for free here.

- Doug

Friday, March 26, 2010

Stock Up on Songs - 20% Off When You Buy 3 or More

Now is the perfect time to stock up on the songs you've been meaning to play on your keyboard - from now through the end of the month, buy any three (or more) MIDI songs at Yamaha MusicSoft, and get 20% off all of the songs in your order.

No matter what type of music you want, or how what you want to do with your keyboard, we have the songs for you. Be sure to check out new songs from Elton John, Eric Clapton and Cliff Richard this week, or take a look at some of the recent European hits we've uploaded over the past few months.

MIDI songs are a great tool to use to learn new songs, add some spice to your performances, and more - check out our interview with Yamaha's MIDI producers for even more ideas.

Have a great weekend!

- Doug

*Sale offers 20% on all MIDI Files in orders containing 3 or more MIDI Files at Sale cannot be combined with other promotions, and ends April 1st, 2010.

This Week's New MIDI Songs, Featuring Cliff Richard and the Shadows

In addition to new versions of some of our most popular MIDI songs, including Elton John's "Your Song", Mariah Carey's "Without You" and Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight", this week's new songs also include classics from Cliff Richard and the Shadows.

Cliff Richard rose to the heights of fame in the late 1950's as one of Britain's first rock and roll stars with hits like "Move It", "Living Doll" and "Travellin' Light". But it was his 60's songs like "The Young Ones" and "Bachelor Boy" that set him on a trajectory to be one of the most successful musicians in UK history. While he never found success in America, Richard and his backing band, the Shadows, achieved an unprecedented string of hits that introduced rock to the Europe and the UK, and in many ways started to the British Invasion. Now you can rediscover and learn to play over a dozen of Richard's greatest songs, including a newly released version of "Bachelor Boy", with MIDI versions available at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard

The Shadows, in addition to serving as Cliff Richards' backing band, had a number of huge instrumental hits of their own during their 60's heyday. On many of their most famous songs, such as "Apache" and "Wonderful Land", they adopted a distinctive surf rock sound. With their unforgettable lead guitar lines, the Shadows' songs are perfect for guitar players looking for MIDI backing tracks. Just mute the guitar line and play along!

Wonderful Land - the Shadows

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

A World Without Love (K&S version) - Peter and Gordon
Baby Can I Hold You (Boyzone version) - Tracy Chapman
Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard
Danny Boy - Vikingarna
Didn't We Almost Have It All - Whitney Houston
Everything I Do - Bryan Adams
How Will I Know - Whitney Houston
It's Not Unusual - Tom Jones
Memory (Instrumental version) - Elaine Page
My Broken Souvenirs - Pussycat
No Matter What - Boyzone
Some People - Cliff Richard
Spanish Eyes - Al Martino
Still Got The Blues - Gary Moore
Stop - Spice Girls
Streets Of London - Roger Whittaker
Stuck With You - Huey Lewis
Sultans Of Swing - Dire Straits
Sweet Nothings - Brenda Lee
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
Without You - Mariah Carey
Wonderful Land - Shadows
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
Your Song - Elton John

- Doug

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's a MIDI File - An Interview With Yamaha's MIDI Song Producers

Here at Yamaha's Online Services, we talk quite a lot about Yamaha's MIDI files. We talk about how you can use them to play along with your favorite keyboard songs, and of course we talk about the latest files released each month. But we don't talk much about the files themselves.

What goes into making these files? What makes them worthy of bearing the Yamaha name? To get these answers, we went straight to the source and asked some of Yamaha's Japanese MIDI producers for the low down on Yamaha's MIDI files. These are the musicians and programmers responsible for the MIDI song files that come pre-loaded on Yamaha's keyboards, as well as the songs we sell at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, so feel free to think about these answers the next time you listen to a song on your instrument.
Q. Let's start simple – what are MIDI files, and what is their appeal?

A. First of all, MIDI is a universal music format. This means that anyone can record a performance and play it back by using a MIDI file. It also means that professional performances can be recorded in a MIDI file, then played back precisely by any MIDI instrument.

Some advantages of MIDI files are that players can easily change notes, tempo, sounds, and so on when they use MIDI. MIDI provides flexible accompaniment tracks to play along with, and also allows players to study and change the arrangements of songs. This flexibility of changing musical elements is an advantage of using MIDI, especially when compared to pure audio tracks. MIDI files can also include various data, like scores, chords, and lyrics, other than main musical performance data. These kinds of data can be used in many occasions, even if players do not use MIDI files in a performance setting.
Keep reading for the full interview, including tips for cool uses for MIDI files on your instrument, details on what makes Yamaha's files the highest quality files around, and what exactly goes into the MIDI production process.
Q. So, as someone who creates the MIDI files we sell on our website, what is it that you actually do? What does creating a Yamaha MIDI song file entail? Walk us briefly through the process.

A. When we create a MIDI file version of an existing song, we first plan the main arrangement and instrumentation, based on the original version of the song. We then start writing the score. At this point, we need to decide which parts of the song to include, since all parts might not fit within the 16 tracks available in the MIDI file format. Then we have to choose the correct instrument sounds for each part of the song and edit them to sound right. At that point we’re ready to start programming and recording the actual music.

To do this we edit and input the MIDI data by using MIDI sequencing software. In this process, Yamaha’s MIDI producing team uses various editing techniques, not only recording the notes, pitch and dynamics, but also system exclusive messages, such as effects, that make the performance as real as possible. In some cases we need to consider data compatibility issues, to make sure that the files will play back appropriately in all of Yamaha’s MIDI instruments. Then our mixing engineer and producer do a final mix of the song by balancing volumes and effects, and finally our quality assurance team checks the file to make sure it meets all of Yamaha’s standards.

Q. Yamaha puts a lot care into making sure that their instruments are top quality, and that same care goes into MIDI file creation. But what does that mean in the final product? How does Yamaha's famous quality come across in a MIDI file?

A. Yamaha has a set of “XG MIDI Song File Creation Guidelines” that the MIDI production team follows whenever we create XG MIDI Song files. These standards specify that the arrangement of song must be highly musical and well-written. This means that a complete Yamaha MIDI file is never based solely on playing or programming what is written on a score. To reach a high quality level, we keep editing and listing to the data while focusing on musical elements, such as the nuances of pitch change, dynamics and timing until we're satisfied that the file can't get any better. In order to maintain the highest quality, Yamaha’s MIDI producing team does not compromise this content creation process. As a result, Yamaha’s MIDI song files not only sound great, but the data in each file is clean and easy to work with or edit.

The authenticity of Yamaha’s MIDI files also has much to do with the both the technology of Yamaha’s instruments and the creators themselves. All of the produceres are professional composers and arrangers with excellent musicality. You can see this in the orchestration, chord progression, and phrasing of our MIDI song files. The MIDI producers also take into account the characteristics of each instrument sound to get the maximum effect. Especially in the case of Yamaha’s Mega Voices, you can also see the importance of the masterful recording techniques our producers use.

Q. Since Yamaha's keyboards are compatible with most types of MIDI files, there are lots of websites that provide song files that work on Yamaha keyboards. What makes Yamaha's files different from the files on other websites?

A. First off, all Yamaha’s MIDI song files are perfectly compatible with Yamaha’s MIDI instrument functions and guarantee that the musical performances in each file will be perfectly reproduced on Yamaha’s instruments. Beyond that, Yamaha’s files contain useful data other than main performance data, such as lyrics and chords. Plus, Yamaha’s MIDI files are 100% legal in terms of copyright protection.

Q. What are some of the coolest uses for MIDI files you've seen?

A. There are lots of great uses for musicians and hobbyists. One thing I’ve seen is MOTIF users importing Yamaha’s MIDI song files to use the data for arpeggio and phrasing patterns in original performance and compositions. With some basic MIDI software, you can also convert the performance data to a score that you can print out. I’ve also seen users play a Yamaha MIDI song file through a Yamaha instrument, and record it as an audio file, then send it to his/her cell phone as an original ringtone.

Beyond that, professional commercial composers and song writers use MIDI all the time. By using MIDI files they can change the key, tempo and other aspects of the song freely. This gives them the advantage of flexibility and helps them responding to clients’ requests in a timely manner. Recently it has become possible to change key and tempo with audio; however, the flexibility of audio is very limited because of drops in sound quality that occur during editing.

- Doug

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yamaha at Musikmesse 2010

This year's installment of the world's largest musical instrument show, Musikmesse, will be getting under way tomorrow, which means tons of action from Yamaha over the next few days.

As they do every year, Yamaha will be joining the rest of the world's musical instrument companies at the show in Frankfurt, Germany to unveil new and innovative instruments and thanks to the internet, you can keep track of everything right from your computer.  Throughout the week you can get up to the minute news from the show, including new product announcements, on Yamaha's official Musikmesse site.

Of course, besides acting as a forum for introducing exciting and groundbreaking new instruments, Musikmesse is also the place to see the world's greatest musicians demonstrating them and trying them out. And while you may not be able to make it across the Atlantic to catch performances and instrument demonstrations from the likes of Peter Baartmans and Bert Smorenburg, you can view the entire Yamaha performance schedule, then catch performances live (or nearly live) on Yamaha's daily video podcast.

Finally, be sure to check Twitter for more updates from the Yamaha Hub and the official Musikmesse site throughout the week.

- Doug

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring Sale - Save 20% on Songs, Styles and Voices at Yamaha MusicSoft & Internet Direct Connection

Spring has brought the sun back again and hopefully your creative urges have come back with. If so, you're in luck, because this weekend we're offering a 20% discount on everything you need to warm up your keyboard and get playing.

All weekend long, any MIDI song, style or expansion voice you buy for your Yamaha keyboard will be 20% off the usual price. That includes this week's new Premium Styles, and last week's new songs and stylesas well.

The sale is also going on over at Internet Direct Connection, where, in addition to songs and styles, you can also take 20% off all Digital Sheet Music and Music Finder+ Performance Guides. If you've never tried out Performance Guides, take a look at this video, and try them out - they're great and during the sale they're only $1.56! If you're new to Internet Direct Connection, you can get tons of information at our Online Services website.

- Doug

* Sale runs from Friday March 19th to 12am Tuesday March 23rd, EDT. Sale covers a 20% discount on MIDI Files downloads, Style downloads and Premium Packs and Voices at Sale covers at 20% discount on all Songs, Styles, Digital Sheet Music and Music Finder+ Performance guides at Internet Direct Connection.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New PianoSoft - George Gershwin & Henry Mancini Classics

This week's two new PianoSoft downloads feature two legends of music in film - the amazing George Gershwin and Henry Mancini. Though their relationships to film were very different, both Mancini and Gershwin had a special knack for putting the cinematic drama into their work, and both of these new albums reflect both their lyricism and the wide scope of their musical visions.

Sue Downs - My Favorite Gershwin

The title "My Favorite Gershwin" is very fitting for this album of Sue Downs' arrangements of Gershwin for solo piano. Downs' personal touch is evident in the track selection, which includes some lesser known George Gershwin tunes like "Bidin' My Time" as well as classics like "Summertime", but also shines through in the performances. While it's hard to improve on Gershwin (take a listen to "Gershwin Plays Gershwin" for Gershwin's own renditions of some of his songs), Downs interprets these songs in a special way that brings out the jazzy fun of "Fascinating Rhythm" as well as the romanticism of "Love Walked In".

Magnificent Mancini

Though his career included turns as an orchestral conductor and an easy listening artist, Henry Mancini was best known as a masterful composer of film scores and TV theme songs. Fittingly, all of the songs from "Magnificent Mancini" originally appeared on either television or on film. But Mancini's compositions always stood out from the screen, and many of them, such as "Moon River" and "The Pink Panther Theme" have become unmistakable standards in their own right. On this PianoSoft album, pianist Bryan Pezzone stays faithful to the most famous versions of classics like "The Baby Elephant Walk" and "Peter Gunn", while expertly adapting them for solo piano.

- Doug

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Premium Styles - Club Beats, 70's Broadway & Classic Pop

This week's new Premium Styles include something for everyone, and open up tons of new performance possibilities. Club Dance is aptly named - this one is for the club music fans, with a pumping electronic disco bassline, house music synths and great filter sweeps on the intro and outro sections.  70's Musical is a very flexible style, offering spare piano based accompaniment with some variations, and using full Broadway horn arrangements on others. 60's Pop Beat uses Yamaha's great guitar sounds to replicate an unmistakable, high energy 60's sound that you can use to play a wide range of songs.

Club Dance and 70's Musical are new for the Tyros3, while the 60's Pop Beat style, previously only available for the Tyros3, is now available in versions for the Tyros2, CVP series Clavinovas and PSR keyboards.

The new Tyros3 style releases also gives us a chance to enjoy two brand new demonstration videos from Martin Harris - take a look below.

Club Dance - This contemporary Dance Style is a mashup of 70’s and 80’s Disco together with modern American club vibes.

Keep reading for more videos!

70's Musical - Bring the theatre of 70’s American musicals to your keyboard.

60's Pop Beat - Nashville’s recording industry created a globally popular sound which is recreated in this Style thanks to MegaVoice technology and the power of DSP effects.

- Doug

Friday, March 12, 2010

Huge PianoSoft & ClaviSoft Sale - Save 30%

Starting today, and for a limited time only, all PianoSoft and ClaviSoft disks at Yamaha MusicSoft are a full 30% off.

Choose from over 800 PianoSoft disks, including favorites like "Italian Classics - Buon Appetito" and "Don't Be Cruel - Great Elvis Presley Songs", and save money while enjoying beautiful piano music on your Yamaha instrument.

If you'd rather get more active with your instrument, and still take advantage of this unprecedented sale, it also covers all of Yamaha's ClaviSoft book and disk packs.

ClaviSoft packs contain both a disk full of songs you can load on your keyboard and a book containing the sheet music for each song.  The songs on ClaviSoft disks are especially arranged for Yamaha's Clavinovas and keyboards in order to make full use of special Yamaha features like Follow Lights, the Guide mode, and Performance Assistant.  ClaviSoft is fun and easy way to learn new songs and get acquainted with all of the features a Yamaha keyboard has to offer, plus it's all 30% off!

- Doug

* Sale provides a 30% discount on all shippable PianoSoft disks and ClaviSoft book and disk packs sold on Yamaha MusicSoft.  Sale runs from 12pm Friday, March 12th through 12am Thursday, April 1st, EDT.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Play Along With Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" on Your Yamaha Keyboard

Music fans love lists. Making a list of your favorite songs is a good excuse to go back and listen to them all in row, and reading other people's lists is a great way to be introduced to new music, or change your thinking about music you're already familiar with.

Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", compiled in 2004, is one of the most frequently referenced "best of" lists around.  The list gives a pretty definitive index of the pop and rock songs every fan should know by heart, but fans at Rolling Stone's website have been debating the details for more than five years.

Lists like this are great for starting a musical conversation, and getting people talking, but why talk about music when you can play it?  This list is full of amazing songs available in MIDI format from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection, that you can load on your Yamaha instrument and start playing right now.

Just take a look at the top 100 songs from the list available as MIDI files from Yamaha MusicSoft.  You'll likely see a bunch of familiar favorites, some of which you may already know how to play.  You may see some songs you've always loved, but never thought to learn, and you'll probably see some that you haven't heard of before.  In any case, take a look, and hopefully the list will inspire to run to your keyboard and start playing!

The top ten songs from Rolling Stone's list are below - keep reading to see the top 100 songs from the list available right now at Yamaha MusicSoft:

1. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
2. Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
3. Imagine - John Lennon
4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5. Respect - Aretha Franklin
6. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
7. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
8. Hey Jude - The Beatles
9. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
10. What'd I Say - Ray Charles
11-100. Keep Reading

2. Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
3. Imagine - John Lennon
4. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
5. Respect - Aretha Franklin
6. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
7. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
8. Hey Jude - The Beatles
10. What'd I Say - Ray Charles
11. My Generation - The Who
13. Yesterday - The Beatles
16. I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
19. Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
20. Let It Be - The Beatles
22. Be My Baby - The Ronettes
23. In My Life - The Beatles
24. People Get Ready - The Impressions
25. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
27. Layla - Derek and the Dominos
28. (Sittin on) the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
29. Help! - The Beatles
30. I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
31. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin
35. Light My Fire - The Doors
36. One - U2
37. No Woman, No Cry - Bob Marley and the Wailers
39. That'll Be the Day - Buddy Holly and the Crickets
40. Dancing in the Street - Martha and the Vandellas
44. Georgia on My Mind - Ray Charles
45. Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley
49. Hotel California - The Eagles
50. The Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
54. When a Man Loves a Woman - Percy Sledge
55. Louie Louie - The Kingsmen
57. Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
58. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
60. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
65. Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
67. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
69. Crying - Roy Orbison
70. Walk On By - Dionne Warwick
71. California Girls - The Beach Boys
72. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag - James Brown
73. Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran
74. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
76. Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
78. I Got You (I Feel Good) - James Brown
80. I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
81. Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino
83. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - The Beatles
84. Every Breath You Take - The Police
85. Crazy - Patsy Cline
87. Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
89. California Dreamin' - The Mamas and The Papas
91. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
94. Good Golly, Miss Molly - Little Richard
95. Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
96. Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
97. Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry
102. Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps
103. Hot Stuff - Donna Summer
109. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
110. I've Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now) - Otis Redding
114. Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home) - The Crystals
116. Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones
118. Shout (Parts 1 and 2) - The Isley Brothers
120. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
121. Stand By Me - Ben E. King
122. House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
125. Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
127. Changes - David Bowie
128. Rock & Roll Music - Chuck Berry
129. Born to Be Wild - Steppenwolf
130. Maggie May - Rod Stewart
131. With or Without You - U2
133. Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
134. In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
136. Your Song - Elton John
137. Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
139. I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
141. All I Have to Do Is Dream - The Everly Brothers
143. Purple Rain - Prince
145. Everyday People - Sly and the Family Stone
147. Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
148. Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
151. Earth Angel - The Penguins
153. A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles
155. Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
156. The Sounds of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel
158. (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets
161. I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
167. Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye
168. Papa Was a Rollin' Stone - The Temptations
169. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
171. Dancing Queen - Abba
172. Dream On - Aerosmith
180. Hey Ya! - Outkast
181. Green Onions - Booker T. and the MG's
184. Please Please Me - The Beatles
186. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin
188. Who'll Stop the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival

- Doug

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jam Along With New Party Styles and Songs From Kesha and Lady Gaga

It's time for more big new releases from our friends over at Yamaha's German Download Shop. Among the over 40 new releases this week are new songs from the two most exciting women in pop music today, Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, as well as four great new dance styles. Of course, there are also a ton of new German and European hits from the likes of the great DutchmanBenny Neyman and DJ Ötzi as well.

Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" is her latest smash hit, and features the same sort of inventive pop dance beat, uncannily catchy melodies, and general pop perfection that her previous singles "Poker Face" and "Paparazzi" have provided. This week's new releases also include both MIDI and style versions of Ke$ha's hit, "Tik Tok". With their heavy synths and dance beats, both of these songs are perfect fits for starting the party on your Yamaha keyboard. Check out a sample of the Ke$ha themed style:

Tik Tak Disco - Everything you need to play Ke$ha's hit single with a single style.

There are also three other new styles available this week, featuring great new dance grooves. Here are two of our favorites:

Tulpen Party - A very flexible electronic dance style, with light melodic lines and a wonderful breakdown section.

Ap Ski Party - A great synthesis of a modern dance beat and old world instrumentation with accordion, four on the floor drums and synths.

Of course, we're only just scratching the surface of this week's new releases here. There are more new styles and over 40 new songs in store at Yamaha MusicSoft - click here for a full list of new songs and styles.

New Styles

Tik Tak Disco
Tulpen Party
Atzen Party
Ap Ski Party

New Songs

Tik Tok - Kesha
Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
I Will Love You Monday (365) - Aura Dione
The Great Pretender - Freddy Mercury (Elvis Presley)
Samba Pa Ti - Santana
Girl From Ipanema - Peter Baartmans, Instrumental
If You Can´t Give Me Love - Suzie Quattro
Learning To Fly - Tom Petty
Saragossa Medley 2 - Saragossa Band
Killing Me Softly With His Song - Roberta Flack
Benny Neyman Griekse Medley - Benny Neyman
Laat maar Waaien - Lawineboys
Geef mij de Sleutel van je Voordeur - Gebroeders Ko
Bella Bella Signorina - Willem Barth
Maanemannen (NOR Chart) - Vamp
Traege Trine, Norwegian Country - Gluntan
Du trägst keine Liebe in Dir - Axel Fischer
Marschlieder-Potpourri (Polonaise) - Michel Voncken
He deit et wih un do deit et wih - Bläck Föös
Fang das Licht - Karel Gott feat. DJ Ötzi
Vogelbeerbaum (Schwarz-Rot-Gold) - Dorfrocker
Haus am See - Peter Fox
Half A Minute - Matt Bianco
What´s A Woman - Vaya Con Dios
Let´s Dance - Chris Montez
Please Mr. Postman - Carpenters
Je moet niet bang zijn voor het leven - Benny Neyman
Mein Tuut Tuut - Die Zipfelbuben
Der DJ aus den Bergen - Klostertaler
Krieger des Lichts - Silbermond
Drob´n auf´m Berg (Zwergenlied) - Die jungen Zillertaler
Mer losse d´r Dom en Koelle - Bläck Föös
Kedeng Kedeng ! - Die Zipfelbuben
Lili Marleen - Michael Hirte, Instrumental
Schifoahn - Lorenz Büffel (Wolfgang Ambros)
Bobfahrerlied - Tim Toupet
Trio Klaus & Klaus Super Medley - Klaus & Klaus
Dicke Mädchen haben schöne Namen - Höhner
Ein Leben nach dem Tod - Bläck Föös
Sansi Bar - Höhner
Superjeilezick - Brings

- Doug

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Listen To Nine New PianoSoft Albums Including the Greatest Hits of the 60's & 70's

With so many new PianoSoft albums available this week there's no time to waste: let's jump right in! The nine new albums include classics from the 50's, movie soundtracks, timeless duets, as well as five new records spanning the greatest hits of the 60's and 70's.

Let the Sunshine In - Flower Power

The music of the late 60s will always be tied to the feeling of peace and love that characterized the time, and this album of new PianoSoft recordings from Joel Plimmer recognizes that fact wholeheartedly. Drawing on some of the greatest examples of the energy and vision in 60's pop, including the psychedelic classic "Time of the Season" and the effecting protest song "Eve of Destruction", this album hearkens back to a complicated time that spawned some great pop music.

Somebody to Love - In a 60's Mood

A wonderful companion to "Flower Power", this album gives a more panoramic view of the 60's pop music. Including the Jefferson Airplane's hard rocking "Somebody to Love", the Mamas and Papas' classic "California Dreamin'" and Otis Redding's heartbreaking soul classic "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay", the album gives a wisftul look back at some of the 60's greatest hits.

Close to You - Carpenter Faves

Of course, the recklessness creativity of the 60's were doomed to come to an end, and the precise, melodic soft pop of 70's quickly took over. The Carpenters were one of the most popular soft pop groups of the time, writing songs that sounded just as good on the radio or in a concert hall. With this PianoSoft album, you can now enjoy the music of the Carpenters in a totally new way - with songs like "We've Only Just Begun" and "Close to You" played back note for note on your Yamaha piano. Pianist Robert Theis is faithful to the and plays with a loving touch that brings out the dynamics of each song, without sacrificing the beautiful clarity that marks them as Carpenters' classics.

Make It With You - Hits of David Gates

The Carpenters maybe have been the biggest soft pop group of the 70s, but Bread and their front man and songwriter, David Gates, were a close second. This new PianoSoaft album includes Bread classics like "Make It With You" and "Baby I'm-a Want You", arranged lovingly for solo piano and performed with care by Yamaha artist, Sue Downs.

Lovin' You - One Hit Wonders of the 70's

While the legacy of the 70's may be the soft pop of Bread and the Carpenters, the decade also saw the emergence of singer-songwriters, disco, and the one-hit-wonder. This collection brings together thirteen hits that you'll no doubt remember, even if you don't remember who sang them. Tom Zink's solo piano arrangements capture the wide stylistic range of 70's pop music, from the romantic touch of "Don't Give Up On Us" and the title song, to the good time blues of "In the Summertime" and the tense funk of "Smiling Faces Sometimes".

Click here for a full list of this week's new PianoSoft albums.

New PianoSoft Albums

The Great Duos
Lovin' You - One Hit Wonders of the 70's
Let's Go to the Movies
Somebody to Love - In a 60's Mood
Let the Sunshine In - Flower Power
Heart and Soul - Fantastic Fifties
Close to You - Carpenter Faves
Make It With You - Hits of David Gates

- Doug

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Irish Music From Yamaha's Piano Radio: With St. Patrick's Celebration

Today we're proud to announce the latest Piano Radio channel, St. Patrick's Celebration.  This is the one time of year that everyone gets to be Irish, and what better way to get into the spirit than with the music of the Emerald Isle on your Disklavier or Yamaha keyboard. 

The new channel will be playing Irish traditional songs from now through St. Patrick's day.  Just sign up for a radio subscription, and you can start enjoying wonderful piano arrangements of jigs and reels as well as wistful ballads reproduced on your instrument exactly as they were originally performed.

Take a listen to some fine examples of the Irish tunes you can expect to hear on the St. Patrick's Celebration channel:

Danny Boy (from "I'm Old Fashioned - Sydney Jill Lehman")

The Irish Washerwoman (from "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling")

The St. Patrick's Celebration channel is just the latest addition to our channel lineup, which includes 16 other stations available around the clock and throughout the year. For anyone listening to radio on a CLP Clavinova or MODUS digital piano, the St. Patrick's channel is your new channel 17.

To try out the St. Patrick's Celebration channel now, first log in to Internet Direct Connection on your instrument and choose "Listen to Radio", or from a Disklavier Mark IV choose "Internet" from the main menu on your controller, then "Disklavier Radio".  On a Disklavier E3, press the "Internet" button on your remote, then choose "D-Radio".  If you haven't created an account for Internet Direct Connection, you'll need to do that before subscribing to Piano Radio - you can create your account here.

If you've never tried Piano Radio before, now's the perfect time. If you're not ready to subscribe and check out the St. Patrick's Celebration channel, that's fine.  Two free channels are available right now - all you need to do is get your keyboard online and you can be enjoying streaming music within seconds. Follow this guide for help with connecting to the internet, or head here if you're ready to subscribe. For more information on Yamaha's Piano Radio, visit our Online Services site.

- Doug

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Yamaha MIDI Songs - Michael Jackson, Elton John & More

This week's new MIDI songs include, hits from two pop legends, Michael Jackson and Elton John, as well as "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", a song that's become one of the most recognizable sports anthems of all time.

Michael Jackson - "Working Day and Night"

While Thriller may be Michael Jackson's undisputed classic, his 1979 album Off the Wall has also stood the test of time and is now regarded as a dance music classic. Off the Wall gave Jackson one of his first opportunities to write and record his own songs, and with "Working Day and Night" and "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough", he had two of his first songwriting successes. "Working Day and Night" was never released as a single, but its undeniably disco groove still easily makes it one of the Jackson's greatest dance songs. "Working Day and Night" sounded amazing on Off the Wall in 1979, and it will still sound great today, on your Yamaha keyboard.

Elton John -"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"

Elton John is perhaps the greatest of all of pop music's piano balladeers. Songs like "Rocket Man", "Your Song", and "Candle In the Wind" capture longing and romantic melody in a way that few other songs are able to. "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues", released in 1983, is a later addition to the list of timeless Elton John ballads, but it has become one of his best loved songs. Elton only plays Yamaha pianos, so you can rest assured that this song will sound as good on your piano as it does on his.

Click here for a full list of new songs.

New Songs, March 3rd 2010

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam
I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womack
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues - Elton John
Blame It on Me - Chrisette Michele
Workin' Day and Night - Michael Jackson
Send Me an Angel - Scorpions
Pretty Ballerina - The Left Banke
You Got the Love - Chaka Khan & Rufus

All files are available on both Yamaha MusicSoft - Yamaha's official online store - and Internet Direct Connection - Yamaha's official "on-instrument" website. In addition to providing new songs, styles, lessons, and streaming radio for your instrument, Internet Direct Connection also offers a variety of free stuff such instrument setups and registration patches and two free radio channels. If you're new to Internet Direct Connection, you can get tons of information at our Online Services website.

- Doug

New Premium Styles - Swingin' Standards and 60's Pop

This week's new releases include new versions of some of our most popular Premium Styles. Those of you looking for styles to play swinging jazz standards, laid back 60's guitar pop, or melancholy rock ballads need look no further!

Big Band Standard and 60's Chart Pop are new for the Tyros3, while the 60's Brit Pop style, previously only available for the Tyros3, is now available in versions for the Tyros2, CVP series Clavinovas and PSR keyboards.

The new Tyros3 style releases also gives us a chance to enjoy two brand new demonstration videos from Martin Harris - take a look below.

Big Band Standard - Play your Swing standards with this powerful 'Rat Pack' sounding big band accompaniment.

Keep reading for more videos!

60's Chart Pop - The Merseybeat movement, originating from Liverpool in the United Kingdom, exploded into the world's charts during the 1960’s. By using DSP effects and a typical lineup of instruments, this Style takes you back there...

60's Brit Pop - British rock and pop groups started a musical movement in the mid-1960’s that spread throughout the English-speaking world. Here the distinctive rhythm and sound of Manchester in the late 60’s is recreated.

All files are available on both Yamaha MusicSoft - Yamaha's official online store - and Internet Direct Connection - Yamaha's official "on-instrument" website. In addition to providing new songs, styles, lessons, and streaming radio for your instrument, Internet Direct Connection also offers a variety of free stuff such instrument setups and registration patches and two free radio channels. If you're new to Internet Direct Connection, you can get tons of information at our Online Services website.

- Doug