Within the roughly 60,000 pieces of sheet music in the AAS collection, a devilish and spry Santa Claus waits for just this time of year. At the first talk of Christmas, he appears, dancing on a chimney while playing the violin. This 1846 incarnation of Santa Claus stands on the cover of the Santa Claus Quadrilles, painted by the anonymous Spoodlyks. The accompanying music was composed by Harvey B. Dodworth.
Separated into five parts and characterized by sections of eight measures, the quadrille was intended as popular dance music. The 6/8 beat of two of the parts encouraged intricate steps and was a forerunner to the square dance.
In the spirit of Dodworth’s Quadrille Band, the AAS Readers’ Services Follies offer you a small sampling of the music: No. 5 of the Quadrilles played by Andrew Bourque. We’ve provided the music itself, but you’ll have to bring the dancing. Happy Holidays!