The first Casio electronic musical instrument, the Casiotone 201,
has been designated a future heritage technology by the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo

Casiotone 201(CT-201)

Casio's first electronic musical instrument, the Casiotone 201, went on sale in 1980, and has been designated an important historical asset of science and technology (a future heritage technology) for the year 2020 by the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, as something that has brought the joy of playing a musical instrument to countless people.

Through the Casiotone 201's unique "consonant and vowel system" for sound production, the instrument allowed players to achieve a natural and colorful tone quality that clearly distinguished it from the other electronic keyboard instruments available at the time, all with a simple interface and compact size. At that time, the instrument offered players who might not normally encounter a musical instrument the chance to easily produce and enjoy beautiful sounds. Many players were able to use the electronic musical instrument to find opportunities to perform, and the instrument was acknowledged as having a significant impact on the market.

It has now been 40 years since the introduction of the Casiotone 201, an instrument developed with the goal of bringing the joy of musical performance to everyone.
Casio electronic musical instruments will continue to evolve with the goal being to deliver the joy of music and performance to as many people as possible.

*Notes on the "consonant" and "vowel" system: The beginning of a note's production is referred to as the "consonant", and the continuation and decay of the note are referred to as the "vowel". This system allows for these two sounds to be separated. The system creates tones by introducing a slight variance in the different sounds that correspond to the consonant and vowel parts of the sound and then merging them together into a single tone.

Ceremony awarding the certification of registration of the Casiotone 201 as an important historical asset of science and technology, held on September 15 at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Ueno, Tokyo.

Detailed reasoning for the selection

The Casiotone 201 is a small electronic keyboard that used a sound source called the "consonant and vowel" system, a revolutionary approach for the time that generated two LSI types for the sound waveform, one for the beginning of the sound (the "consonant") and one for the decay (the "vowel"), and then merged through two sounds through a process of D/A conversion. At a time when many dedicated musical instrument makers were planning how to enter the market for the new category of portable keyboards, Casio Computer drew attention by becoming a new player in the field of musical instruments. The Casiotone 201 featured a standard 49-key keyboard, internal speakers, the ability to produce eight tones simultaneously, and the inclusion of 29 types of musical instrument sounds. All of this was available for 97,000 yen, an affordable price at the time. The model was an important driver of an increase in the number of players based on its ability to allow players to easily enjoy beautiful tones.

About the "future heritage technology" designation
Future heritage technologies are registered under a system that has been operated by the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo (Yoshihiro Hayashi, director) since 2008. This system aims for the preservation and usage of historical assets of science and technology that represent the important historical results of the development of science and technology and that hold an important significance in being passed down to the next generation, as well as historical assets of science and technology that have made an undeniable impact on people's lives, the economy, society, and culture.