Almost from the beginning of their existence, family units would gather by the warmth of the hearth and enjoy some form of music. Throughout human history, music in many forms played a significant role in social development.
In this study, author Foster White presents his assessment of this important aspect of music history through the lens of his own family’s story of musical development and ingenuity. Exploring music as it related to family life and home entertainment in the time prior to radio, television, and the Internet, White shares a saga beginning in Caernarfon Wales in the mid-1500s and ending rather tragically by the Atlantic Ocean on the Massachusetts coast in September 1938. Along the way, he recounts the intriguing history of the development of the player piano and the Artrio Angelus Reproducing Piano. The story of the Strong/White family and the Wilcox and White Organ Company is one of creativity, dedication, musical skills and the ability to adapt to change and survive the difficult situations presented in life.
Full of intriguing historical detail, Music by the Hearth offers a consideration of one family’s contribution to music over the course of more than three centuries.