Around the Christmas Tree quadrille

Music/Illustration/Image

Description

English

This quadrille is a set of ‘seasonal’ dance-rhythm pieces for piano in a popular, uncomplicated style, playable by most domestic performers. The cover illustration shows how a Christmas tree of the period might have looked, complete with candles and trinkets nestling in the branches. 

Victorian Britain reinvented Christmas in the mid-1800s, introducing or re-introducing many of the traditions familiar to us today: trees, carols, family gatherings, food and drink.

The Victorians even pioneered the idea of what a century later would be called the ‘Christmas single’: seasonal novelty pieces for the thriving market of amateur pianists entertaining at home. The piano was a symbol of gentility and accomplishment, and tens of thousands were sold every year – though the cheapest Broadwood still cost £45, a year’s salary for many manual workers. 

Little is known about the composer, Hyppolite (the correct spelling) van Landeghem, a freelance teacher, composer, and polemicist on disabilities, active in South London in the 1860s.

Full title
Around the Christmas Tree quadrille
Published
estimated 1876 , London
Format
Music / Illustration / Image
Creator
Hippolite Van Landeghem
Held by
British Library
Usage Terms
Free from known copyright restrictions
Shelfmark
h.1482.y.(30.)

Related articles

Victorian Christmas

Article by
Judith Flanders
Themes: 
Popular culture, The middle classes

Judith Flanders describes how many of our own Christmas traditions – from trees and crackers to cards and carols – have their origins in 19th-century industrial and commercial interests.

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