Advert for the Smith American Organ & Piano Company
Medium: Lithograph, coloured
With the invention of the upright piano in the mid-19th century, music and performance entered the parlours of the English middle class. Piano playing became an essential accomplishment for young women. Indeed, etiquette guides of the time stressed the emotional, physical and moral benefits that accrued from practise and eventual mastery of the instrument.
Music was an important part of all social gatherings of the time, whether formal or informal. and people gave many recitals and concerts for their friends and families. With the introduction of hire-purchase arrangements, pianos even became a fixture some working class homes.