Toshio Iwai. TENORI-ON digital music instrument. 2004

Toshio Iwai

TENORI-ON digital music instrument


On view
ABS, aluminum, LEDs, and electronics
8 1/16 x 8 1/16 x 1 5/16" (20.5 x 20.5 x 3.4 cm)
Gift of the manufacturer
Object number
© 2015 Toshio Iwai
Architecture and Design
This work is on view on Floor 3, in Architecture and Design Gallery West, with 257 other works online.
Toshio Iwai has 1 work online.
There are 8,569 design works online.

Tenori-on (Japanese for "sound in your palm") is a handheld step sequencer that creates and displays synthesized music and light patterns, fusing the sequential and layering logic of electronic music with dynamic visual display. When pressed, each LED pixel emits a preprogrammed sound. Two speakers are located at the top of the screen, and buttons that determine the type of sound and beats per minute are arranged along the sides. Users program a specific sequence of sounds, which are activated with corresponding bursts of light. These patterns can be stored in the device and used during performance.

Gallery label from Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, July 24–November 7, 2011

Additional text

One of the greatest parts of my job is getting to geek out over the many brilliant examples of design that are considered for the Museum's collection. Among the most exciting (and drop-dead gorgeous) works we acquired last year is the TENORI-ON, by the Japanese artist Toshio Iwai, manufactured by Yamaha. View full post

Publication excerpt from Paul Galloway, Cataloguer, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, Musical MoMA: The TENORI-ON by Toshio Iwai and Yamaha, Inside/Out: A MoMA/P.S.1 Blog. November 19, 2009.

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