I'm playing the piano again after a long break. My fingers are slow and clumsy so I'm starting with my trusty childhood practice book Hanon: The Virtuoso Pianist in 60 Exercises. Published in 1900, my copy has penciled marks from generations of piano teachers and it brings me right back to those hours sitting at the bench with only the ticking metronome for company.
The Luck of the Buttons is set in 1929, and while Tugs Button is not musical, her best friend Aggie Millhouse escapes piano practice by putting a roll in the player piano. Today we've got ipods, ipads, electronic keyboards that play accompaniment, even keyboard staircases. Yet the sight of this piano playing itself still amazes.
Here's a player piano playing a hit from 1929: Button Up Your Overcoat.