Sing For The Crowd, When They Want You To
In the early 1900s, most households did not yet have home radios. To entertain family and guests, they would sing or play instruments. If a person were asked to play, it was considered “a mark of vanity” to show anxiety or hesitation. Waiting to be urged or make a decision would label one as rude.
A person could turn down the request to entertain, but to remain polite, they had to refuse sternly and immediately. On top of that, if a guest performed, a host was expected to ask them again later the same evening, so they would not feel underappreciated.