Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History
Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History
Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History
Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History

Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History


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Inspire The Music - 50 Years Of Roland History

Discover the groundbreaking journey of Roland, a leading music brand, in the 400-page photo-rich book, INSPIRE THE MUSIC. Trace their evolution from 1972 to the present day and learn how they revolutionized the music industry.

  • 60+ feature articles covering 50 years of music tech history 
  • 90+ interviews and stories with artists and engineers
  • Hundreds of instruments with detailed insights
  • Foreword by legendary hitmakers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
  • 400 colourful pages printed on high-quality certified-ecofriendly paper
  • Hardcover format (9.8" x 9.8" / 25 x 25 cm)


Very few music companies can match Roland's technological influence. "INSPIRE THE MUSIC" chronicles the birth of innovative instruments that perform previously inconceivable feats - rhythm machines that play according to your command, guitars capable of producing any sound, stringless grand pianos, and drum sets that are light enough to be carried with just one hand. This story is told through the lens of the musical world in which these instruments were created, as well as the musical universe they helped bring to life.


Roland's musical equipment has left a lasting impact, with many stories and legends being created about them. The creation of these innovative instruments, such as the JUPITER-8 and other legendary synthesizers, the Space Echo and its influence on Jamaican dub music, the Octapad's domination in Indian music, the Loop Stations revolutionizing composition and performance, the impact of MIDI, the marriage of sampling and synthesis, beatboxes, stompboxes, and grooveboxes, including the genre-defining TR-808, TR-909, and TB-303, will be explored through in-depth research and interviews with Roland's designers. Get ready to learn the fascinating truth behind these game-changing music machines.


INSPIRE THE MUSIC not only highlights Roland's technological advancements but also showcases the diverse community that has come together around it. The book features over 90 interviews and stories from a range of professionals including recording artists, session and touring musicians, beatmakers, producers, recording engineers, educators, songwriters, soundtrack composers, and the designers behind these innovative machines.

This inspiring book is introduced by the renowned hitmakers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and takes you on a journey through the world of Roland, where you will encounter fascinating stories and meet legendary musicians. You'll learn about one of Elton John's favourite pianos, how electronic drums changed Butch Vig's touring career, and how a guitar synthesizer impacted Joni Mitchell's music. Discover defining moments in genres such as hip-hop, pop, techno, and R&B, and be there when acid-house was born.

You will be inspired by a host of musical legends including Billy Duffy, Bonnie McIntosh, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Clint Black, Clive Deamer, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Pierre, Don Lewis, The Egyptian Lover, Howard Jones, Jean-Michel Jarre, Johnny Marr, Guy Fletcher, Nick Rhodes, Nita Strauss, Omar Hakim, Orbital, Peaches, Rachel Z, Richie Hawtin, Roger Taylor, Sister Bliss, Steve Levine, Steve Stevens, Swizz Beatz, Tadao Kikumoto, Thomas Dolby, and many others.

Fifty years of favourites, fashions, frontiers – and the occasional flop

INSPIRE THE MUSIC explores the profound impact that Roland instruments have had on various musical genres, from rock to hip-hop to the gospel and beyond. Through six comprehensive chapters, the book offers a comprehensive look at some of Roland's most famous and groundbreaking instruments, as well as some lesser-known gems. Whether you're a beatmaker, guitar virtuoso, or classical pianist, this book has something to offer everyone.

GROOVE: From the original Rhythm Aces and CompuRhythms to the TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm boxes, the TB-303 bass synth, the Grooveboxes, the SP-Series pad samplers, and modern beatmaking from AIRA to Zenbeats.

DRUMS: The evolution of electronic drums from the triangular Alpha Drums to modern V-Drums that play, feel, and sound like acoustic drums, as well as the Octapad, the Handsonic, and reimaginings of traditional drums like the cajón and taiko.

GUITAR: Meet the JC-120 Jazz Chorus guitar amp – a classic that’s still being made after 47 years – the iconic BOSS compact pedals, the world’s first guitar synthesizer (and its many descendants), the genre-defining Loop Stations, and more.

KEYS: The groundbreaking EP-30 electronic piano, the VK-Series organs, revolutions in sound creation and playing feel, the V-Piano, modern digital grand pianos that can fool experts, and the hidden power of the V-Accordion.

SYNTH: Follow the journey from the SH-1000 – Japan’s first synthesizer – through the iconic JUPITER-8, the seismic impact of the D-50, new explorations like the JD-800 and V-Synth, and the brave new world of Boutique Synths and Roland Cloud.

STUDIO: Step behind the glass and learn about the Space Echo, the Roland Rack and the many sound effects it inspired sequencers and how MIDI changed the world, and the ever-growing interaction between the worlds of hardware and music computers.

And because the endless quest for new and exciting ideas is bound to have some missteps and blind alleys, INSPIRE THE MUSIC includes a number of Roland ideas that didn’t work out. You’ll learn about the studio that needed a stylus, a keyboard that made noise whenever you moved your head, surround sound that didn’t surround, and other interesting Roland moments. 

The Bjooks team

INSPIRE THE MUSIC was created by Kim Bjørn with Roland’s full cooperation and assistance. It features contributions from industry experts like Peter Kirn, Alex Ball, Adam Douglas, Collin Russell, Daniel Orkin, Scott Harper, Mike Metlay, Gordon Reid, and others.

This is the comprehensive story of Roland’s 50 years of history, passion, creativity, and the machines that drive them. This is INSPIRE THE MUSIC.

Hardcover, 400 pages