In the recent discussion concerning impediments to selling a
player piano, I forgot to mention the poorly-documented aspect of
cardiovascular exercise which a foot-pumped player piano affords,
especially one which has been poorly-restored and has leaky primary
valves or slightly porous reservoir leather. I can personally attest
to the vigorous workout one experiences by pumping out "(By the Light
of) The Silv'ry Moon" and even "Der Fuehrer's Face".
Since more than 50% of adults in this country are now officially
overweight (defined as one's being more than 20% above one's ideal
weight), pumping a poorly-rebuilt player piano will probably add years
to one's life by providing much-needed aerobic exercise. Using the
player piano I find is far more enjoyable than spending an equivalent
amount of time on a treadmill or on a Health Rider, both of which are
silent and provide no musical accompaniment at all.
Someday I hope to find in the "New England Journal of Medicine" a
double-blind study comparing longevity of nursing-home residents with
access to a player piano to those of age-matched inhabitants without
access to a foot-pumped player. Even if the player affords no greater
longevity, I'd suspect that inhabitants with access to a functioning
foot-pumped player piano had far more enjoyable retirement years.