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"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Robot Pianist  
  A robot learns the fine art of playing classical music on the piano.  

The Maestro instructs his robot Rollo (the Rolleindex Personal Robot, model M-3) in playing an unusual apparatus - the piano.

"Mozart? Chopin?" The duralloy sphere that was Rollo's head shone stark and featureless, its immediate surface unbroken but for twin vision lenses. "The terms are not included in my memory banks."

"No, not for yours, Rollo," the Maestro said softly. "Mozart and Chopin are not for vacuum tubes and fuses and copper wire. They are for flesh and blood and human tears..."

"I should like to be taught how to produce these notes on the piano. I request that you feed the correlation between those dots and the levers of the panel into my memory banks."

After the Maestro instructs Rollo, he goes to sleep, leaving Rollo at the piano. The Maestro awakens, hearing beautiful music.

The light over the music rack was an eerie island in the brown shadows of the studio. Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused somewhere off into the shadows.

The massive feet working the pedals, arms and hands flashing and glinting - they were living entities, separate, somehow, from the machined perfection of his body.

From Virtuoso, by Herbert Goldstone.
Published by Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1953
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  More Ideas and Technology from Virtuoso
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  Tech news articles related to Virtuoso
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  - Melomics Avant Garde Computer Musician
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