If you put a piano on the street, will people play it?

Neighbors gathered this morning to celebrate Howard Street's new piano.

Business owners and neighbors along Howard Street in Evanston will start learning the answer to that question after an unveiling ceremony this morning.

The idea for street pianos got started in Birmingham, England, in 2008, and since has spread to dozens of cities with the global registry now listing more than 1,900 pianos.

Update 1:30 p.m.: And it turns out there'll soon be a second street piano in Evanston.

Downtown Evanston is still working to finish the paint job on a piano that will soon be a fixture at Fountain Square.

Annie Coakley, executive director of Downtown Evanston, says theirs is actually a player piano, but they plan to just let passersby play it the old fashioned way, by hand -- to avoid having to find an electric outlet to plug it in.