Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Sale! Save 20% On All Songs & Styles Through October 31st!

Halloween is on Monday, and we're choosing to give treats instead of tricks! We'd love to give everyone a candy bar, but unfortunately Yamaha doesn't make candy. Instead, we've discounted our entire catalog of Midi Songs and Styles 20%, now through October 31st! It's a great chance to stock up on Songs and Styles for the coming Holiday season, or grab some of your all-time favorites to add to your practice and performance repertoire.

Have a safe and fun Halloween weekend!

~Drew

All Midi Songs and Styles are discounted 20% at Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection. Sale ends Tuesday, November 1st at 12AM Eastern Time. Offer cannot be combined with any other promotions.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Save 20% When You Subscribe To Yamaha's Piano Radio!

Yamaha's Piano Radio is better than ever! We're currently featuring over 20 channels of streaming piano music, 24 hours a day, seven days a week! The seasonal Halloween Hits channel was just released, and holiday music is just around the corner. It's a great time to subscribe, and to sweeten the deal, we're offering a 20% discount on monthly and annual Piano Radio subsciptions, now through October 31st!

Use the promotion code boo2011 during checkout to receive the 20% discount on your subscription!

Check out the complete list of Piano Radio Channels to see the wide variety of music available to subscribers. Seasonal channels add even more music to the standard genre-based channels like Pop, Classical, Jazz, and Rock, and channels dedicated to the music of Elton John, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lennon & McCartney, and more! There's a channel for every occasion, and every music lover on Yamaha's Piano Radio. If you've never used Piano Radio, it's easier than ever to get connected. Take a look at our comprehensive Connection Guide, which features step-by-step instructions and helpful videos to get you connected and listening right away!

If you need assistance connecting your Yamaha keyboard, Clavinova, or Disklavier to Piano Radio or you would like to subscribe over the phone, please feel free to contact our customer support team at 1-866-430-2652. We're happy to help!

~Drew

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Creepy MIDI Songs For Halloween At Yamaha Online Services!

There's still plenty of time to learn your favorite Halloween songs before the big night! If you're a fan of spooky pop music, there's no better tune than Michael Jackson's epic "Thriller"! For something a little more lighthearted and fun, try "The Addams Family Theme", or Ray Parker Jr's "Ghostbusters". We're also featuring a few haunting classic tunes from the likes of Zager & Evans, Johnny Cash, and the Eagles!

All Yamaha MIDI songs function with the learning features of Yamaha keyboards and Clavinovas, so you can slow down each song to practice at your own pace. Check out our MIDI Workshop Video Series for tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your Yamaha keyboard and Yamaha MIDI files.

Listen to samples of our MIDI songs for Halloween below, or browse our entire catalog!


Thriller
Michael Jackson



Ghostbusters
Ray Parker Jr.



Monster Mash
Bobby "Boris" Pickett



Toccata & Fugue In D Minor
J.S. Bach


Frankenstein
Edgar Winter Group


Don't Fear The Reaper
Blue Oyster Cult


Hotel California
The Eagles


Ghost Riders In the Sky
Johnny Cash


In The Year 2525
Zager & Evans


The Addams Family Theme
Vic Mizzy


All these MIDI songs and more are available from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

~Boo! (Drew)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rocktober Styles At Yamaha Online Services!

It's the most rockin' month of the year: ROCKTOBER! To celebrate, we've put together a list of awesome Rock Styles for Yamaha Keyboards and Clavinovas! From 80's Rock highlights to driving Blues Rock barn-burners, there's a perfect Style for your next Rock performance at Yamaha MusicSoft. Rock music is as versatile as any other genre, however Styles offer you the control to adjust the tempo, choose the key you want to play in, and use 4 variations and One Touch Settings to really create an original performance. Don't forget that although each Style is inspired by a specific song, any Style can be used to play hundreds of songs! You can even use Styles to work on your own compositions and recordings at home!


80's Movie Rock
80's Movie Rock has montage written all over it. Playing with this style, I can easily see Daniel-san training with Mr. Miyagi, or Rocky running up those famous steps in Philadelphia. It's the driving, chugging, rhythm that makes this Style unique and essential to any collection. One Touch Settings include Synth, Guitar, and Brass voices.


80's Root Rock
A hard hitting 4/4 Style for all your country inspired rock tunes. Fuzzy Guitars, Clean Piano, and some Brass voices are all set up in the One Touch Settings for your jamming pleasure!


80's Rock Anthem
A powerful Style with big stadium drums and crushing guitars. Super versatile by nature, this Style is suitable for many popular songs from the 80s, or whatever you might be working on at home! Featured voices include Rotary Organ, Rock Guitars, and Rockin' Sax!


US Rock
American Woman! A totally groovy rock Style inspired by the Guess Who Classic. But there's plenty more to do with this Style! The One Touch Settings include some Rick Wakeman style Synth voices, in addition to Prog Rock Organ and a super dirty fuzzed out Guitar!


Burning Rock
This Style really cooks! A straight ahead 8 beat drives the rhythm which also includes acoustic and electric guitars, organ, and piano. It's great for blues rock tunes from all eras, with One Touch Settings that include saxophone, two lead guitars with varying intensity, and a big brass section.


Brit Rock
Brit Rock is an easy going Style, clocking in at about 78 beats per minute. The rhythm features crunchy guitars, a backbeat that grows through the variations, and a solid bass line. Featured voices include a sweet oboe, organ, lead guitar, and a pop brass section.


Plain Rock
Here's a great mid-tempo style that features some accordion and groovy blues piano in the rhythm section. I'm thinking late 70's to early 80's classic rock with a touch of the blues. Featured voices include saxophone, harmonica, 60's organ, and steel guitar.


On Top Rock
On Top Rock is another slow burner. Think Creedence Clearwater Revival or George Thoroughgood and you're not far off. The rhythm is an open 4/4 beat, with 70's lead guitar, organ, and saxophones in the one touch settings.


Walker Rock
This one is an uptempo shuffle Style with an air-tight rhythm section, that incorporates tasteful use of piano, and adds a little hand clapping in the last variation. Featured voices include blues guitars, saxophone, and a cool synth horn sound.


Marmor Rock
What a versatile Style! It begins with a sparse drum beat and palm muted guitar, and eventually explodes into a country rock shuffle! One Touch Settings include grand piano, big brass, organ, and lead guitar!


The most rockin' styles and more are available from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection.

~Drew

Thrills & Chills With Halloween PianoSoft At Yamaha MusicSoft!

With Halloween just two weeks away, it's time to get in the spooky spirit! We've got two great PianoSoft Plus collections for the occasion. Whether you're throwing a Halloween party, or just want to add some extra fright for your trick-or-treaters; Boo!- Halloween Favorites and A Haunted Halloween pack a nice mix of monster themes and haunting classical compositions. The PianoSoft Plus format give our PianoSoft artists the opportunity to add some accompaniment to each song, which is especially fun for Halloween-themed music. You'll hear creepy organs, bells, and rhythms added to songs to complete the haunting feel of this music.

Check out some samples below to get a taste of what you can expect to hear on these fun PianoSoft albums!

A Haunted Halloween
The sound of a piano can certainly convey a sense of dread, but to really get across their ghoulish essences, some songs really need to be heard with full orchestration. Luckily, Joel Plimmer doesn't just provide renditions of the piano parts from the songs featured on "A Haunted Halloween", but has also arranged complete accompaniments that allow the jovial spookiness of Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" to shine through with a rich clarinet sound, and Michael Jackson's "Thriller" to inspire fits of zombie-like dancing with the rhythmic power of a full pop backing arrangement. Fans of frightening music will certainly enjoy hearing the "Tubular Bells" of Mike Oldfield's theme from "The Exorcist", and the slowly building orchestral foreboding of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" along with wonderful live piano performances.

Beetlejuice Main Theme


Thriller


Boo!- Halloween Favorites
As its title suggests, this album may startle you with how much fun music in contains! From the "Monster Mash" to Howling Wolf's "I Put a Spell On You" it hits all the basis for Halloween entertainment. Compared to "A Haunted Halloween", Jason Nyberg's arrangements on this album are more piano heavy, and focus on using the piano to create an eerie, but light-hearted, mood perfect for any Halloween celebration. Featuring many classic spooky tv and film themes, such as themes from "The X-Files" and "The Twilight Zone", "Halloween Favorites" will be an especially big hit with soundtrack enthusiasts.

Theme From The Twilight Zone


Harry Potter Main Theme


These special Halloween PianoSoft albums are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft. You can also enjoy some of the music from these collections and more on our special Halloween Hits channel for Yamaha's Piano Radio!

~Drew

Friday, October 14, 2011

Top Premium Styles Of 2011 At Yamaha Online Services!

Yamaha Premium Styles are some of our best selling products at Yamaha Online Services, due to careful programming and uncompromising quality. Each Style takes months to plan, execute, and test, before it becomes available to our customers. We take pride in knowing that we are offering Styles that expand the musical possibilities of Yamaha's top keyboards with the same technical specifications and superior sound quality of the Styles that are factory installed in our instruments. This week we're taking a look back at some of the best selling Premium Styles of 2011, and giving them some much earned attention. It seems fitting that our best selling Premium Styles would have varied genres, tempos, and musical applications, and it's all the more reason to celebrate the diversity of music!

As an added bonus, we're also highlighting our favorite songs for Halloween, including some amazing TV and Movie themes, as well as a few iconic spooky tunes!

Best Selling Yamaha Premium Styles!

50's Twist
With the youthful rebellion of exciting, raucous music and the dance to go along with it, the twist sums up perfectly the feel of early rock and roll. You can easily create the same feel easily with this style, which puts doo wop backing vocals at the forefront of the accompaniment. For a more piano heavy take on the twist, try the 60s Twist style.


Acappella Swing
A capella music appears most often these days in the form of barbershop and vocal jazz. The a capella swing sound has been taken up recently by groups like Take 6 and the Manhattan Transfer, and this style is a perfect accompaniment to use in creating your own a capella tracks. Using only human voices for harmony and finger snaps for percussion, this style recreates the sound of a barbershop quartet with amazing realism and expressiveness. Add your own voice to create new "a capella" songs!


Soft Piano Beat
The softer side of rock is no less versatile. Here we have a light, airy Style that lends itself easily to ballads, but it suits any mid-tempo piano rock tune with a few taps of the tempo button. Though this Style is based on Katie Melua's "The Closest Thing To Crazy", I quickly played through some of my favorite ballads including "Everything I Do(I Do It For You)" and "Unchained Melody", just to have fun trying some familiar songs with a new Style. Soft Piano Beat builds consistently through each variation, with One Touch Settings that match the added layers of complexity with subtle intensity. Featured voices include the world famous Yamaha Grand Piano, soothing flutes, and a warm string section.


Status Rock
It's a burning hot blues rock style with some unexpected bells and whistles! Status Rock was inspired by the 1977 Classic Rock hit "Rockin' All Over The World" by Status Quo(Though written and originally recorded by John Fogerty). The driving blues rock vibe of this Style gives it a real fist-pumping quality, which is complimented by the subtle vocal harmonies that enter the second variation. My favorite variation is the fourth, where the entire Style transforms to give us dramatic synchronized hits that create a high energy moment, while leaving space for little bluesy licks. The One Touch Voice Settings could not be more perfectly paired! You get two scorching lead guitars, a rock organ, and a golden saxophone!


Peace Ballad
A classic piano ballad that is soft and subtle. This style was inspired by and is perfect for the song "Imagine", though versatile in the rock ballad genre. The rhythm features Yamaha's world class piano voice, clean studio drums, and a soft string section, while lead voices include a pop grand piano, vintage guitar, and soprano saxophone!


Sing-a-long Waltz
This is an endlessly versatile English Waltz Style featuring the "EvenBars" organ voice and the world famous Yamaha Piano sound. The rhythm section boasts a truly premium brush sound on the snare and a warm upright bass. With a nod to the "sweet bands" of the late 1940's and 50's, this Style easily lends itself to sing-alongs, dancing and listening for pleasure.



Awesome Halloween Songs!

Thriller
Michael Jackson


Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
J.S. Bach


Monster Mash
Bobby "Boris" Pickett


The Addams Family Theme
Vic Mizzy


Ghostbusters
Ray Parker Jr.


Frankenstein
Edgar Winter Group


Have an excellent weekend!

~Drew

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Birthday John Lennon!

John Lennon was born on October 9th, 1940, Though he passed more than 30 years ago, his music and influence are still celebrated all over the world. As a member of the Beatles, Lennon was one half of one of the greatest songwriting teams in history, publishing his songs with Paul McCartney under the Northern Songs imprint. After the breakup of the Beatles, John Lennon enjoyed success as a solo artist, and with the Plastic Ono Band, releasing several albums.

In addition to having one of the most iconic voices in pop music, Lennon is also known for using his fame to raise political awareness through his campaign for peace, which is probably most remembered for the famous "Bed In" where he spent a week in bed with his wife Yoko Ono in protest of the Vietnam war. Lennon's vocal opposition of the Vietnam war led the Nixon administration's attempt to deport him. John Lennon's political and musical voices spoke loud and clear to his generation, and his impact on popular culture is legendary. The Yamaha Online Services office is in New York City, where Lennon was living when he was murdered. Yoko scattered his ashes in Central Park in a location that would later become a monument to Lennon; Strawberry Fields. Every year on Lennon's Birthday, and the anniversary of his death (December 9) thousands of fans gather at the Strawberry Fields Memorial to leave flowers, sing songs, and pay tribute to an incomparable icon.

Join us in celebrating an amazing body of musical work as we remember a truly extraordinary human being. At Yamaha MusicSoft, we have some of Lennon's best loved work in MIDI songs for your Yamaha keyboard, in addition to books and sheet music to help you learn to play!

John Lennon MIDI Songs

Whatever Gets You Through The Night
Woman
Imagine
Instant Karma!
(Just Like) Starting Over



Books & Sheet Music

Lennon & McCartney Hits
(Sheet Music)
The Songs Of John Lennon
(Book)
The John Lennon Collection
(Sheet Music)
The Beatles- 1
(Sheet Music)
Beatles! Beatles! Beatles!
(Sheet Music)


Beatles MIDI Songs

Birthday
Strawberry Fields Forever
All You Need Is Love
Revolution
Come Together



Enjoy!

~Drew

Friday, October 7, 2011

Virtuoso Performance News! Fred Hersch & Lincoln Mayorga At Yamaha MusicSoft!

This week we are back with another round of releases from the popular Virtuoso Performance Software series in downloadable format! The Virtuoso Performance Software series consists of nearly 40 collections of intimate performances, recorded and optimized for Yamaha keyboard instruments! Now that these amazing collections are downloadable, they are available for the first time in a format that is compatible with the Yamaha Disklavier E3 and DKC-850 models, as well as Clavinovas and Keyboards! This week's additions include a collection of classic songs from Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin, as peformed by the inimitable Lincoln Mayorga; AND we have a re-release of Fred Hersch's "Seasons" which has been out of print for some time!

Find out what Virtuoso Performance Software's producer David Kreisberg has to say about these truly wonderful collections and these gifted performers below! As always, we encourage you to browse our entire catalog of PianoSoft and Virtuoso Performance Software products at Yamaha MusicSoft!

Fred Hersch- Seasons
Fred Hersch is a serious pianist. I first recognized that when I heard his audio recordings, then later when I met him. He elevates the material he interprets. Some pianists are satisfied to wow you with their technique and flash (of which Fred has plenty) or swing you or set your feet a-tapping. Fred prefers to conjure introspection; to give pause for thought and reach further inward thus, delivering greater emotional rewards. Listen beneath the surface of these songs and you'll hear a constant motion and movement within his playing; a forward driving contrapuntal energy building and rising then falling at just the appropriate moments; tying then untying poetic knots.

Fred's playing speaks volumes of life experience. An honors graduate of The New England Conservatory, Fred's career has embraced both the worlds of classical and jazz and, at times, a marriage of the two. He's performed with Stan Getz, Lee Konitz and Charlie Haden. He's also performed with major orchestras across the U.S. and Europe. More importantly, he’s recognized as a profound piano soloist as you will discover on "Seasons". He's served as faculty at The New England Conservatory and The Manhattan School of Music. And, he's written monthly columns on the art of solo piano for Keyboard magazine. He's acknowledged as a major keyboard artist by such publications as Downbeat, The New Yorker, Jazz Times, The Washington Post and The New York Times. He's the recipient of Grammy award nominations and his audio recordings have received much deserved critical acclaim.

This collection of songs, inspired by the seasons, is rendered in a deliberately mature fashion. He sets out within each piece embarking upon a journey. How easy and convenient the journey would be if it were merely around the block. Instead, Fred opts for the long way home combing the narrow alleys and passageways that offer a more compelling glimpse of what's really going on within these musical environs. All the seasons provide their joys and sorrows, weaving their magic within us and about us; metaphorically capturing profound moments and events we all eventually encounter should we live long enough and full enough. We're fortunate Fred obliges us by sharing some of his.
- David Kreisberg

Lincoln Mayorga- Kern n' Berlin
Within the entertainment industry, the display of musical versatility is not altogether uncommon. The demands put upon musicians in Hollywood are generally quite broad. Find a musician that is equally versatile and virtuosic regardless of musical genres and you've found Lincoln Mayorga. Lincoln is the embodiment of versatility. Yet his foundation of technique and historical perspective raises his pianism well beyond mere versatility. The range of his professional success transcends the varied worlds of concert music, popular music, studio work and jazz. As you can hear, Lincoln is quite comfortable at the piano; just put the music in front of him, sit back and listen.

Lincoln Mayorga was born and raised in Los Angeles, and he is the descendent of an impressive pianistic line which begins with Beethoven and continues through Czerny, Leschetizky, Schnabel and his own teacher Aube Tzerko. Along with his solid training in the European tradition he also displays an ear for more popular musical genres. For many years Lincoln enjoyed one of the busiest studio careers in Hollywood. He was the staff pianist for Walt Disney Studios and contributed to the soundtracks of such motion pictures as "Pete's Dragon", "Bedknobs And Broomsticks", "The Competition", "The Rose", and "Splash". His television credits include "Little House On The Prairie", "Highway To
Heaven
", "Dallas", "Fame", and many others.

As an accompanist and arranger in the field of popular music he assisted such greats as Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Vikki Carr, Andy Williams and Quincy Jones. Lincoln was also co-founder of the renowned audiophile record label Sheffield Lab for which he released many recordings spanning all his musical styles. These days, he concentrates upon his concert schedule which has taken his diverse 19th and 20th century repertoire to better than 200 cities across the United States, Europe and Russia. He has become recognized as a champion of American music as is shown in this collection. His arrangements of unforgettable compositions by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Irving Berlin, among others, exposes the timeless quality and craft with which these composers graced us and the intricate voicings and shadings that only a classical musical background and thorough musical and emotional understanding could imbue. As a confirmation, in 1988, the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra engaged Lincoln as a soloist in their first concert devoted entirely to American music.

Lincoln's renditions of Kern and Berlin substantiate these songs' perpetual popularity. His use of inner lines to support the melody; the manner in which he builds upon the underlying tension and then releases it in a tutti fury of open fisted chords; the tasteful employment of a modulation at a stirring moment to further develop the overall impact of the song. Lincoln understands.
-David Kreisberg

The Virtuoso Performance Software downloads are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft.

~Drew

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Yamaha Premium Styles: 70s Pop Orchestra & 00s Indie Rock!

It's October already, which means we'll soon be getting ready for the holiday season! Lucky for us, the first week of every month feels like a holiday with the release of new Yamaha Premium Styles! This month we have two unique Premium Styles in the genre of Rock that are equally versatile and expertly programmed. I'm feeling especially excited because the new Premium Style 70s Pop Orchestra has led me to revisit the wonderful music of Electric Light Orchestra! Their classical inspired pop rock music and intense vocal harmony garnered the group 27 Billboard top 40 hits! Our other new offering is inspired by the Sheffield born Indie Rock sound of the Arctic Monkeys, who's tuneful pop songwriting and high energy performances led to the band's debut album becoming the fastest selling debut record for a band in the UK! All of that energy and pop song craft is expertly captured in the Yamaha Premium Style 00's Indie Rock!

Check out the fantastic demonstration videos and detailed descriptions of our new Premium Styles below, or browse our entire catalog!

70s Pop Orchestra
This Style was inspired by the song "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra, and it has all the bells and whistles! The Style grows in intensity beginning with 8 beat handclaps in the first variation, and finishing up with those awesome hits on the first and second beats in the fourth variation. This Style is absolutely driving, and features a Yamaha grand piano voice, in addition to a bright synth lead, a vocal patch, and ripping lead guitar!



00's Indie Rock
Here's a great mid tempo Style that's suitable for lots of Indie Rock and Pop tunes, though inspired by the Arctic Monkey's smash hit "Fluorescent Adolescent". The drums have a really groovy rock feel that plays around with 16 beats on the high hat, and the rhythm is carried by a moving bass line, consistent rhythm guitar, and some melodic guitar accents. The energy of this Style is positively toe-tapping, with featured voices that include 2 different electric guitar tones, a rockin' sax and warm organ.



Yamaha Premium Styles are available exclusively from Yamaha MusicSoft and Internet Direct Connection!

Have fun!

~Drew