A Japanese (and nowadays very international) musical instrument manufacturer, best known as one of the leading companies in synthesizers and related gear. Roland was formed in 1972 and produced the SH-1000, Japan's first ever keyboard synthesizer.
Roland also has the Boss sub-brand for low-budget equipment.

Roland products featured in Everything2:

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From www.synthmuseum.com:

Why does Roland have such a western name?
Founder and President of Roland, Ikutaro Kakehashi, was also the founder of Ace Electronics, but eventually left after a business disagreement with his partner. When he decided to start a new firm, he chose the name Roland because Acetone (the organ they manufactured) got pronounced differently in different places, while Roland was pronounced the same everywhere. Ironically, Roland isn't that easy to pronounce if you're Japanese, since Japanese doesn't have an L sound.

The X-files

Episode: 1X22
First aired:5/06/94
Written by: Chris Ruppenthal
Directed by: David Nutter

A research scientist dies after being sucked into a jet engine while the retarded janitor, Roland, controls the keyboard to cause his death.

Mulder and Scully find that the scientist is the second scientist to die in a group of four scientists working on a project. Mulder meets with Roland and takes a piece of paper on which Roland was writing numbers. In the lab, Roland attacks another scientist, killing him by placing his head in liquid nitrogen and shattering it on the floor.

The password on one of the scientist's computers matches the numbers that Roland had written before, and they find that the complicated information has been updated supposedly by Roland.

They talk with Roland but he doesn't say much. However, they find with a background check that he and one of the scientists, Grable were identical twins. Mulder feels that Roland and his twin brother may have a psychic bond that may have been increased when his brother died and that Grable may have gained a higher conscious, allowing him to control Roland. Grable's head has been preserved after his death and the last remaining scientist sneaks into the lab and starts to thaw it.

In the lab, Roland works with the computer and as the head of his brother is being warmed, his concentration starts to shake but is able to finnish the work. The scientist finds him and Roland knocks him into the engine room. Roland is stopped from killing the scientist by Mulder and Scully.

Roland is held for examination but Mulder insists that he be released, which he is.

Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "How was the wedding?"
Scully -- "You mean the part where the groom passed out or the dog bit the drummer?"
Mulder -- "Did you catch the bouquet?"
Scully -- "May-be..."

Mulder -- "I don't think they'll be performing this experiment on Beakman's World."

Mulder -- "You've got a brother, don't you Scully?"
Scully -- "Yeah. I've got an older one and a younger one."
Mulder -- " Well, have you ever thought about calling one of them all day long and then all of a sudden the phone rings and it's one of them calling you?"
Scully -- "Does this pitch somehow end with a way for me to lower my long distance charges?"

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Back to The X-files: Season 1
In his book, Common Landscapes of America, 1580-1845, from which all facts in this writeup are taken, John Stilgoe says that a roland was also the center of a certain type of isolated rural European community, the landschaft, whose English approximation is roughly the archaic word, vill. These sorts of communities were roughly circular (at least as much so as the shape of the land allowed) and had houses and cottages grouped in the middle with the settlement's agricultural fields surrounding it in all directions. At roughly the geographic center of the community would stand the roland, which could be virtually any sort of structure, from trees in pagan times to crosses in Christian, with a liberal helping of stone and wooden staves scattered throughout both periods, although slightly more common in pagan times.

The roland represented something like the spiritual unity of the community. It was a totally symbolic practice serving no physical needs and yet it was widespread throughout Europe, especially in the Northwest. During the Pre-Christian era, the roland and the ground surrounding it became a center for fertility rituals involving drunken licentiousness and general sexual abandon. Apparently this practice, as well as the roland's intimate connection with paganism, led clergy of the Christian era to urge their replacement with the quintessential Christian symbol, the cross, in a movement not unlike the move by the Roman Catholic church to replace the Roman festival of Saturnalia with Christmas. Even when left in their old forms, however, the rolands of Christian Europe symbolized the normative religious and social hierarchy by which the landschaft functioned.

Roland, the name of the most prominent hero in the Charlemagne legend. Unlike most legendary heroes, Roland is a figure in history as well as in poetry and fable, though it cannot be said that the place he occupies as a historical personage is a very imposing one. His character was that of a brave and loyal warrior, but simple and unsuspecting in his disposition. According to the Song of Roland, an old French epic, he was killed at the battle of Roncesvalles after a desperate struggle with the Saracens who had attacked Charlemagne's rear guard. Several epics are based upon his exploits.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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