Dueling Pianos: From Competition to Comradery

Although dueling pianos began as an actual competition between the two pianists to see who was better and faster, it has evolved into two pianists working together to complement each other and provide entertainment.
Often found in the bar setting, dueling pianos consist of two pianos, two or more pianists, a large library of music, and an excited crowd. The audience can make requests from a provided songbook or just from their minds. Though requests used to be made on cocktail napkins, most dueling pianists provide small slips of paper and pens now. As a general rule, the higher the tip, the more likely the request is to be played.

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