Bay Area Yamaha Piano Stores – History of Yamaha Pianos
It was in 1887 that Torakusu Yamaha first began producing pianos, for a company which he named Nippon Gakki, which translates to ‘Japan Musical Instruments’. The demand for pianos in America quickly began soaring, and by 1902, Yamaha had already produced his first Grand Piano. For the next several years, Yamaha pianos were exhibited in a number of competitions, and won numerous prizes for their craftsmanship and for their superior sound.
First World War
By the time of the first World War, demand had soared even more for Yamaha piano stores, because many buyers were unable to access Asian markets, while Yamaha still employed over 1,000 workers, producing 1,200 pianos every year. By 1922 and 1923, fire and earthquakes had destroyed most of the Yamaha production facilities, but by 1927 new president Kaichi Kawakami had re-shaped the company, paid off most of its debts, and once again made it a very profitable company.
World War II
Virtually all the company’s factories were destroyed by bombing raids in World War II, and that delivered a huge setback to the company. But it received a major boost just three years after the war, when Japan’s Education Ministry decreed that students should learn how to play the piano. By 1950, Kaichi’s son had taken over the presidency, and he retained that position for the next 27 years. During his tenure, schools were opened so that the piano could be taught to students, the piano was introduced to foreign markets, and new production facilities were established. Another major accomplishment during this time was a new wood-drying process which reduced production time from two years to three months.
Between 1960 and 1966, the company’s production of pianos increased from 24,000 to 100,000, and Yamaha piano became the largest manufacturer of pianos anywhere around the globe. In 1987, on the company’s 100th anniversary, there was a corporate name change from Nippon Gakki to Yamaha Corporation, which finally recalled the name of its founder, a century before.
Yamaha Piano Now
In 1992, another innovation caused the popularity of the piano to increase again, when the ‘silent’ piano was introduced. This allowed players to listen to sounds they were producing through headphones, while others in the room heard only silence. Yamaha Corporation is today known to be the largest producer of musical instruments in the world, and there are production facilities in many countries around the globe outside Japan. The company is still recognized as one of the very finest makers of world-class pianos in existence, and is unparalleled in its quest for providing quality and performance in its pianos.