The Victorians delighted in making music themselves, thousands of songs and piano pieces in styles ranging from the highly serious classics to the popular and comic music was composed and published for the amateur market, with pianos becoming more affordable to the middle classes as time went on.
In both private houses and public concerts, the audience was expected to listen in silence, just as it is today. This could be tiresome. Charles William Day, in his Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society (1836), wrote:
'It is generally the misfortune of musical people to be such enthusiasts, that... they seldom know when to leave off ... The listeners get fidgetty [sic] and tired, although they are usually too polite to say so. A song now and then is very desirable, as it is a relief to conversation, but half a dozen consecutively ... would become a bore.'
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