Roland Founder Kakehashi Donates Synths to Museum

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Roland Corp. and Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of the company, donated 3 synthesizers to Hamamatsu Musical Instruments Museum in November. The museum first opens a permanent exhibit of digital musical instruments with these instruments.

Despite its reputation as one of the largest museums for musical instruments, there has been no exhibit of digital musical instruments so far. The donated instruments include Roland System 700, the first system synthesizer developed in Japan, and Moog System 35, and Arp Model 2600 synthesizers owned by Kakehashi.  (Photo: Kazuhiko Shima, left, and Ikutaro Kakehashi.)

Kazuhiko Shima, managing director of the museum, said, "When we staged a special exhibit, 'Musical Instruments and 20th Century' in 2003, we recognized that innovative technologies in the coming years would continue bringing digital musical instruments into an established segment in the music history. The musical instruments represent a cultural legacy man has created. The idea for setting up a permanent exhibit for the digital musical instruments has been the project of years. I believe it will inspire young generations and be a key history in the future."

Kakehashi expects much in the new exhibit saying, "I appreciate Mr. Shima very much for his support when Roland was developing the digital harpsichord. Half joke, I said it's about time that we saw the digital musical instruments exhibited in museum. Surprisingly, and to my pleasure, he took my words seriously, and the dream plans have realized. I understand this is a very good start. Having the visitors know the early history of the digital musical instruments will have not a small impact. The exhibit will include other makes with historical value and will be known as the world's first museum having a comprehensive collection of vintage digital musical instruments."

The exhibit is scheduled to open by the end of this year with initial collection of more than 30 legendary instruments donated from connoisseurs, and the products manufactured in and after 1950's which are borrowed from Yamaha, Korg and other makers.

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