IQ-tips timewarp trip: Music in the Evening

David K. Israel

If you missed the previous installments, we're on an IQ-tips timewarp trip this week, dipping into Amy Vanderbilt's classic book from the 1950s, The Complete Book of Etiquette, looking at her chapter on Home Entertaining.

Poor Amy never saw the iPod or Myspace coming when she wrote these tips on music listening. Check it out:

Good music is often a stimulus to conversation if it is kept in the background. If everyone, or nearly everyone, is interested in music, classical or otherwise, the hostess may ask if certain records or special programs will be welcome. Then conversation may—or may not—cease. Many a delightful evening with friends can be spent with hardly a word exchanged if all are listening to music. Few people can or want to talk against the blare of the radio or the glare and chatter of the television screen. If you plan an evening of radio, bridge, poker, or television, say so and give any guests who prefer a different evening the opportunity to leave approximately one hour after dinner.