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Man Arrested for Piano Playing

June 3, 1998

ORONO, Maine (AP) _ Robert Noland has a master’s degree in piano and has played concerts in Europe. But that didn’t stop police from arresting him when he refused to close his windows.

A neighbor, Mary Lou Dall, said Noland’s playing of Chopin was ``so bad it made me desperate,″ so she called police.

They arrested Noland on Monday, saying his playing was ``loud and unreasonable,″ and told him to refrain from practicing until a court date next month.

``I was thinking, `I’m not in there beating my girlfriend. I’m playing the piano,‴ he said. ``Now I’ve got a disorderly conduct charge on my record. It makes it sound like I was drunk and naked in the middle of the street.″

Noland has lived in the neighborhood for two years and got his first complaint last week when Dall asked him to close his windows. Their houses are about 30 feet apart.

Noland kept his windows open because it was hot, so Dall filed a complaint. Police officers gave Noland a warning Monday and arrested him later that day after he refused to comply.

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