This really cool project allows a grand piano to “speak”. We don’t know any details about its construction but we had to share. The keys are being hit by solenoids in a manner to replicate human speech. Click through to the video, it’s worth it. You may have to allow the popup to see the video, and it is in german, but the piano is clearly speaking english. We want one to keep around the office. It could read our emails to us.
(Edit from 2015: The link went bad, but it can be found elsewhere on YouTube.)