Steinway just released an iPad-controlled piano



Steinway was so adamant about getting the technology right that in 2014 it bought Live Performance, a company founded by music engineer Wayne Stahnke. Lauded as the creator of the first mass market computer-controlled player piano able to simulate the nuances of a human performer (the Bosendorfer 290 SE), the former NASA engineer opened Live Performance in 1992 to commercialize his four decade’s worth of experimentations in “high resolution” electronic reproducing pianos.
At its new Manhattan showroom, Steinway president Ron Losby showed Quartz how the Spirio can be played manually like a regular piano, but can also “accompany” a singer in the absence of a pianist. In theory, a sophisticated self-playing piano can work well in any number of live events such as a ballet recital, a church choir performance, a party—or perhaps just to give the pianist a break.

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