Business & Finance: Boom Fortissimo

The way to surprise and amaze your friends, according to the old ad, is to sit down at the piano and dash off a few tricky arpeggios learned on the sly. These days, so many Americans are sitting down at their pianos that friends are no longer surprised; it is the piano makers who are amazed. They are enjoying their biggest boom in 25 years. Sales last year of 154,000 instruments were still below the booming '20s, when the player-piano craze pushed sales to 300,000. But the figure still represents a lively rise from...

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