Roland recently announced that their Kiyola KF-10 mid-century styled home piano is available in the United States exclusively from the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) Design Store. This has prompted a closer look at this exceptional instrument.
The Kiyola (KF-10) was originally launched in Japan in September 2015, but wasn’t widely available in the US. It is a rare entity, and unlike any other piano on the market.
The word Kiyola translates as “elegance and beauty”, a description rarely applied to a digital piano. The instrument is a collaboration between Japanese furniture designer Karimoku, and the Roland Corporation. Roland describe Karimoku as, “…a noted exponent of environmentally friendly, low-formaldehyde timber, maintaining a socially responsible piano footprint with chic design.“ They are Japan’s largest wood-furniture maker since 1940.
The Japanese furniture industry is centred around Hamamatsu. Early piano manufacturers also established themselves in this same area. Both industries required timber and skilled carpenters. Other musical instrument manufacturers followed. Roland and Karimoku are both located in this area.
The Kiyola KF-10’s cabinet is designed and hand-built by Karimoku, then shipped to Roland’s nearby facility where the keyboard, electrics, and amplification are installed.
The KF-10 utilises Roland’s SuperNATURAL piano modelling technology and employs their excellent PHA-50 keyboard. This gives the player a full piano sound with a feel and response akin to that of an acoustic instrument.
But it the Kiyola KF-10’s appearance that makes it unique. The piano has a “mid-century modern” style. This is a simplistic design with clean lines and a strong Scandinavian influence. The style has become very popular in recent years. The Teague Sketch 1111 grand piano from Steinway is another example of this mid-century modern aesthetic.
The KF-10 comes complete with a matching piano bench. Karimoku’s extensive experience in furniture design ensures the bench encourages a good posture, essential when seated for long periods of time. Its arched shape delivers a wider sitting area and this, in conjunction with a high-density foam cushion, distributes weight more evenly.
Back in 2015 Roland and Karimoku won the prestigious Good Design Award (G Mark) from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion. This was undoubtedly influential in the MoMA Design Store’s decision to feature the Kiyola KF-10 in their 2018 catalogue collection. The piano also won the Japan Wood Design Award in the same year.
Digital pianos are generally not the most attractive of instruments. They are usually either oblong boxes perched a metal leg assembly, or housed in a rather bland faux-wood console. This elegant, hand crafted instrument is a beautiful piece of furniture that would enhance, rather than detracts from, the look of most modern rooms.
The Roland Kiyola KF-10 is exclusively available in the U.S. from the MoMA Design Store until the end of June 2018. The price is $4,299.99. It is also available in other territories across the world. More information can be found on the Roland website.
Roland Kiyola KF-10 Specifications
|Piano Sound: SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling
|Piano: Limitless (solo playing using ‘Grand Piano’ tones)
|For performance: 6 Tones (Grand Piano: 3 Tones, Upright Piano: 1 Tones, E.Piano: 1 Tones)
|For data playback: 265 Tones (including 8 drum sets, 1 SFX set), Conforms to GM2
|Wood and Plastic Hybrid Structure, with Escapement and Ebony/Ivory Feel (88 keys)
|Progressive Damper Action Pedal
|(Damper pedal: capable of continuous detection, Soft pedal: capable of continuous detection/function assignable, Sostenuto pedal: function assignable)
|12 cm (4-3/4 inches) x 2
|5 cm (2 inches) x 2
|Rated Power Output
|30 W x 2
|Volume Level (SPL)
|109 dB (This value was measured according to the method that is based on Roland's technical standard.)
|Key Touch: 5 types, fixed touch
|415.3–466.2 Hz (adjustable in increments of 0.1 Hz)
|10 types (Equal, Just Major, Just Minor, Pythagorean, Kirnberger I, Kirnberger II, Kirnberger III, Meantone, Werckmeister, Arabic), selectable temperament key (*1)
|Key Off Noise
|Full Scale String Resonance
|Key Off Resonance
|Single Note Tuning
|Single Note Volume
|Single Note Character
|Standard MIDI Files (Format 0, 1)
|Audio File (WAV 44.1 kHz, 16-bit linear format, require USB Flash Memory)
|Bluetooth Ver 3.0 (Supports SCMS-T content protection)
|MIDI, Turning music sheet
|Bluetooth Ver 4.0
*The Bluetooth feature may not be available, if purchased in certain territories
|Metronome (adjustable Tempo/Beat/Down beat)
|Transpose (in semitones)
|Speaker volume and Headphones volume automatically select function
|ConnectorsDC In jack
|DC In jack
|USB Computer port: USB B type
|USB Memory port: USB A type
|Phones jack x 2: Stereo miniature phone type
|Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
|Leaflet Stand Assembly
|Leaflet “USING THE UNIT SAFELY”
|Dedicated Fixed-height Bench
|SIZE (Piano with lid open)
|292 mm, 11-1/2 inches
|337 mm, 13-5/16 inches
|910 mm, 35-7/8 inches
|33.2 kg, 73lb 4oz
If you’d like to receive news of more posts, please subscribe…