The Clavinova

The Clavinova is the brand name of a musical instrument created by the Yamaha Corporation.

It's an electronic keyboard, that has been around for many years, much similar to a Piano, but with the differences of being able to save music, more variation on instrument selection and also accompaniments that can be played underneath the main part.

Technical Information

A digital piano makes music electronically rather than by hitting strings with a hammer. The digital piano consists of two major parts: the keyboard/pedals and the synthesizer.

The Keyboard is designed to feel as much like a regular piano as possible. On a standard acoustic piano, pressing a key removes the damper from the strings and causes a hammer to strike the strings. The harder the key is pressed the harder the hammer hits the strings. Holding the key down allows the note to continue. Letting the key up causes the damper to silence the note.

This mechanical action produces a certain feel to the keys which pianists are used to. High quality digital keyboards have a mechanical structure to simulate the feel an acoustic piano. Instead of a hammer and damper, they have electronic sensors to determine when a key is pressed or released, and how hard the key is pressed. This information can then either be sent to the synthesizer or recorded digitally in a MIDI file to be played back later. The keyboard has the full 88 keys of a standard piano.



Clavinova CVP-509 Clavinova CVP-509

The Synthesizer plays the music. Information comes in a MIDI or similar format either directly from the piano keyboard or from a stored source (from within the piano or via a computer or external sequencer). The synthesizer contains samples of real instruments when are then selected and modified by the electronics to produce the desired sound.

Digital pianos are not limited to just piano sounds however. The synthesizer can make the sounds of just about any instrument. The Clavinova CVP-107 has hundreds of "voices" to choose from. These include several types of pianos and organs, brass and woodwind instruments, drums, etc.

The Synthesizer on the digital piano is similar in operation to what is found in most newer personal computers. Most computers made in the past several years have "Wave Table Synthesis". This was a very expensive item several years back, but is now fairly inexpensive, and is done is software on most PCs. The Clavinova has a very high quality synthesizer and audio system which will outperform a PC and has many more features.

The CVP-107 is capable of playing 64 notes at the same time. This seems like overkill, but in fact a complicated piece can have many notes at once. A note struck on a piano continues to sound for quite a while, even after the key is released.

Also complex pieces using multiple instruments at once can take up many notes. A sequencer can play far more notes than a person at the keyboard. The synthesizer attached to our organ can play only 16 notes at once. Technology changes quickly.

Here's an interesting clavinova review. Enjoy!

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