The question of MUSIC is important. If it is a large party, four musicians may be engaged-piano, cornet, violin, and violoncello. The cornet is often dispensed with in small assemblies, the violin and piano being sufficient. When the piano alone is used, however limited the number of guests, the hostess should secure the attendance of a professional pianist, because the guests ought not to be left to the mercy of those who happen to be present and can be prevailed on to play, while it often happens that those who oblige out of courtesy would prefer taking part in the dance.
The place occupied by the musicians is understood to be the top of the room, but it is not always convenient to adhere strictly to this rule in a private room, but it is generally the end furthest from the door. The point should be ascertained by the dancers, as, in quadrilles, the head couples lead off, and uncertainty leads to confusion.
Four musicians are enough for a private ball. If the room is not large, do away with the horn; the flageolet is less noisy, and marks the time quite as well. A piano and violin form the mainstay of the band; but if the room be large, a larger band may be introduced to great advantage.1) Beadle's dime ball-room companion and guide to dancing, 1868
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