I really loved the comments by George Bogatko in regard to live piano
music. That fits about 99% of the situations I've come across, too.
I solve the problem by not talking about anything until the song is
finished. That usually clues others in as to what they should do,
but not always.
However, I have seldom ever had the problem with good reproducer music.
When a person hears a piano just barely touch the keys and then come
down in a crash, they seem to want to hear more. About the only time
I get complaints is when either I am playing an ordinary roll or
something with very compressed dynamics. I find that some few people
are very sensitive to piano sounds because of their ears, and other
people have less selective hearing and the piano blocks their awareness
of other things they want to hear as well.
So I think the only times I have not heard complaints is when the music
is very dramatic, from the very softest that piano can play, to the
very loudest it can play, with a singularly human touch, and is able
to take center-stage.
Regarding the solenoid pianos and this question: Only the people
who have a complaint will squeak. Most people will enjoy it. I do.
But so many people today aren't used to an acoustic instrument playing.
They are used to loudspeakers, and they are also used to those speakers
barely droning, so low that they cannot tell what is being played.
They use that music to occupy "the other track of their brain," to keep
them from being distracted from what they are concentrating on, like
when you were in school and used your radio to study by. It's wrong to
think that "Everybody is complaining" if you hear a dozen gripes that
the piano is too loud.
As George said, "How do you turn it down? You go into another room."
Acoustic instruments develop their tone by using the room's own size
and acoustics, as well as every person in that same room, each having
an effect. Put a concert grand in a small room -- you gain nothing in
power or dynamics. Put it in a large hall, and you wonder how you could
have even stood it in your shop when it was playing. It's the room it