If music be the food of love, then the Music Division has enough in the refrigerator to play on for a lifetime and then some. Among the more romantic pieces in the collection is a self-published work by Dayton C. Miller, whose collection of flutes and other instruments is one of the treasures of the Library. “Audacious jewel” was the composer’s marriage proposal to his beloved Edith.
American Memory teaches us how to go a-courting the old fashioned way with An American Ballroom Companion, a collection of social dance manuals as well as primers on etiquette and even anti-dance broadsides like “Ballroom to hell,” in which an ex-dancing master devotes seventy-two pages to a condemnation of the waltz.
The rituals of courtship are also well-represented in Historic American Sheet Music, 1800-1922. A keyword search for the word “love” in that collection results in more than 500 hits. May this long weekend give our readership plenty of opportunity to spoon, waltz, dream and kiss – and, last but not least, remember our Presidents.