Music Science

Yamaha Artificial Intelligence (AI) Transforms a Dancer into a Pianist

Dancer: Kaiji Moriyama, Accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Scharoun Ensemble

HAMAMATSU, Japan, Jan. 31, 2018 — Yamaha Corporation is excited to announce that Yamaha artificial intelligence (AI) technology enabled a world-renowned dancer Kaiji Moriyama to control a piano by his movements. The concert, held in Tokyo on November 22, 2017, was entitled “Mai Hi Ten Yu”’ and was sponsored by Tokyo University of the Arts and Tokyo University of the Arts COI. Yamaha provided an original system, which can translate human movements into musical expression by using AI technology, as technical cooperation for the concert.


Check out the video to see the performance:


Drawing on the system provided by Yamaha, Moriyama gave a brilliant performance with synchronized beautiful piano sound. Moreover, the performance was accompanied by other leading players, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Scharoun Ensemble.

The concert performed by the talented players with Yamaha technology showed “a form of expression that fuses body movements and music.”

Yamaha believes this performance represents steady progress in the pursuit of new forms of artistic expression and will continue to develop this technology to further expand the possibilities for human expression.

Technology Overview

The AI adopted in the system, which is now under development, can identify a dancer’s movement in real time by analyzing signals from four types of sensors attached to a dancer’s body. This system has an original database that links melody and movements, and, with this database, the AI on the system creates suitable melody data (MIDI) from the dancer’s movements instantly. The system then sends the MIDI data to a Yamaha Disklavier™ player piano, and it is translated into music.

To convert dance movements into musical expression, the Yamaha Disklavier™ is indispensable because it can reproduce a rich range of sounds with extreme accuracy through very slight changes in piano touch. Moreover, we use a special Disklavier in the concert which was configured based on Yamaha flagship model CFX concert grand piano to express fully and completely the performance of the talented dancer Moriyama.

Yamaha Disklavier:

Comments of Participants

Kaiji Moriyama, Dancer

As the AI system processed and translated my dance movements into music, I felt reawakened to the incredible power of human beings to sense thought and action.

Peter Riegelbauer, Representative Member of the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble

It has been very impressive for us to play with such a wonderful dancer, and we are extremely grateful to have had this great opportunity

Isao Matsushita, Composer and Vice President of the Tokyo University of the Arts

Art must change in tandem with the changing times. This time, many persons were involved in creating this performance, including a dancer and engineers. This style of creating musical compositions is challenging, but these initiatives have opened up new possibilities and given us even more powerful inspiration than we have experienced in the past.

Motoichi Tamura, General Manager of Development Department No. 1, Research & Development Division, Yamaha Corporation

At Yamaha, we believe that AI will become a bridge between human beings and musical instruments. We are continuing our AI development activities to enable human beings to have freer and more direct expression through musical instruments.


Yamaha Corporation

Since its founding in 1887, the Yamaha Corporation Group has developed its business activities focusing on musical instruments, audio products, Yamaha music schools, semiconductors, and other products and services related to sound and music. With its unique expertise and sensibilities, Yamaha is committed to creating excitement and cultural inspiration together with people around the world.


Kenji Arakawa,
Public Relations Group, Corporate Communications Division,Yamaha Corporation
Tel: +81-3-5488-6601 (Japanese correspondence only)
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