Many composers have been drawn to Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), perhaps without realizing that Dickinson’s own early years were full of music, her musical activities having preceded and informed her later dedication to poetry. Like most young women of the middle and upper classes in Antebellum America, Dickinson studied piano and voice. The family parlor was the nexus of lively musical activity, and music was often a topic in Dickinson’s correspondence. On August 3, 1845, fourteen-year-old Emily wrote to her friend Abiah Root: "Are you practising now you are at home—I hope you are, for if you are not you would be likely to forget what you have learnt. I want very much to hear you play ... I have the same Instruction book that you have, Bertini, [Progressive and Complete Method for the Piano] and I am getting along in it very well. Aunt Selby [her teacher] says she shant let me have many tunes now for she wants I should get over in the book a good ways first ... I have been learning several beautiful pieces lately. “The Grave of Bonaparte” is one. “Lancers Quick Step”—“Wood up,” and “Maiden Weep no More,” which is a sweet little song. I wish much to see you and hear you play."