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|Traded as||TYO: 7944|
|Founded||Osaka, Japan (April 18, 1972 )|
|Headquarters||Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan|
|Ikutaro Kakehashi, Junichi Miki|
|Products||Musical instruments, Audio/Video, Electronics, Computer-related products|
Number of employees
Roland Corporation (Kabushiki Kaisha) is a Japanese manufacturer of R?rando electronic musical instruments, electronic equipment and software. It was founded by Ikutaro Kakehashi in Osaka on April 18, 1972. In 2005, Roland's headquarters relocated to Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It has factories in Taiwan, Japan, and the USA. As of March 31, 2010, it employed 2,699 employees. In 2014, Roland was subject to a management buyout by Roland's CEO Junichi Miki, supported by Taiyo Pacific Partners.
Roland has manufactured numerous instruments that have had lasting impacts on popular music, such as the Juno-106 synthesizer,TB-303 bass synthesizer, and TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines. In 2016, Fact wrote that Roland "arguably did more to shape electronic music than any other [company] in history".
Kakehashi founded Ace Electronic Industries in 1960, a manufacturer of numerous combo organs, guitar amplifiers, and effects pedals. He was also contracted by Hammond to produce rhythm machines for the company's line of home organs. In 1973, Kakehashi cut ties with both companies to found Roland.
As with many Japanese start-ups of the period, the name Roland was selected for export purposes as Kakehashi was interested in a name that was easy to pronounce for his worldwide target markets. Rumour has long circulated that he named his company after the French epic poem La Chanson de Roland. In reality, the name Roland was found in a telephone directory. Kakehashi opted for it as he was satisfied with the simple two-syllable word and its soft consonants. The letter "R" was chosen because it was not used by many other music equipment companies, and would therefore stand out in trade show directories and industry listings. Kakehashi did not learn of "The Song Of Roland" until later.
Roland markets products under a number of brand names, each of which are used on products geared toward a different niche.