This one is a very sketchy memory because the main thrust of it was, I'm pretty sure, based on a misunderstanding. When I was a child, in the late 1980s to the early 1990s, I remember reading a short story from either a book from the local library (Ashland, KY) or from the books on my father's shelves. The protagonist of the story was an entertainer, I think playing a piano and singing, on a space station, and at one point, he gets lost in his music, and has kind of a fugue state where he doesn't remember his actions that night as anything more than a blur. A fellow employee (a waitress at the bar, or a bartender?) tells him that he played a lot of very old songs, and asks him why he did so, and where he learned them. He brushes it off with a statement that he must have been "possessed by a ghost" and at the time, I read that as that he actually was possessed by a ghost (with it seeming to me to be interesting to juxtapose the supernatural and science fiction like that). I might have also been inspired by seeing the cover of Carmen Mirandas's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three at the library. Which... I don't think I actually ever read it, but I may have to track down a copy to see if there's another reason my brain poked the image back into my head. Anyhow, years later, I came to realize he probably meant it as a figure of speech, but at the time, I genuinely thought he has indeed been possessed by a benign ghost.

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This is reminiscent of the closing pages of Fool's Run (1987), by Patricia McKillip. It's a novel, not a short story, but the timing is right:

The night before you and I first talked. He was in here playing the piano. For hours. I'd never seen him like that. He never stopped, never spoke... He said later he'd been watching the Underworld orbit as he played... It was very odd. [...] "He doesn't usually do that, then? Play for hours like that." "No." "Like he's doing now?" [...] The Magician's right hand halted. He looked up at Jase, pale, his breathing audible, but showing no more surprise than one awakened, but not yet fully awakened, from a dream. He said, "It's watching us orbit."

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    Oh, good memory. Though I think Fuzzy's memory is closer to the start of the story, where we start in the club and meet the Magician and Sidney: "A ghost was nesting along with the mice in that piano and crawled out into me tonight, gave itself a good time for four hours, then crawled back to bed." This is after the Magician played a series of Bach Fugues, the Inventions, the Fourth and Fifth English Suites, and more - and ignored a band that tried to electrocute themselves as a protest and the patrollers showing up to arrest them, and everything else.
    – DavidW
    Aug 23, 2022 at 19:51
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    Rereading this it's remarkable how much, even though this is a SF story, the writing is still unmistakably McKillip's. *sigh*
    – DavidW
    Aug 23, 2022 at 19:56
  • I think DavidW has the right quote! :-D And I don't remember reading that book at all, but I tried to read a lot of those books as a kid, and didn't always comprehend what I was consuming. Ask me about what happened in elementary school when I decided reading Battlefield Earth would make me cool...
    – FuzzyBoots
    Aug 23, 2022 at 20:49

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