I used this with my children (ages 2-13) in 1999 as an introduction to different musical instruments. We enjoyed the photos of instruments being played, diagrams to clarify details, and historical information on the instruments. In the first 51 pages called Making Music, topics covered are the orchestra, conductor, composer, groups of instruments (stringed, woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboard), and chamber music. Each instument section includes how the instruments actually make the sounds and is correlated to the CD. I wish the CD tracks could have been longer and sometimes the track included several instruments playing. It was hard to just pick out a particular instrument, especially for the younger children.
The music on the CD is Concerto in Pieces by Poul Ruders played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Andrew Davis. In the composer section there are photos of Ruders working on this score, in the orchestra section there are photos of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and in the conductor section there are photos of Andrew Davis conducting.
Part 2 is the History of Music. We enjoyed an interesting timeline with historic art from 40,000 BC to 2000 AD. (Since they have so little information, it really starts in 2600 BC.) Major divisions are ancient, medieval, baroque, classical, romantic, and national music. A reference section on composers, musical forms, and a glossary of musical terms completes the book.
I didn't really care for the CD, especially now having listened to it many, many times through. I wish it could have more clearly indicated individual instruments too.
I think this was a good start in our study of musical instruments. The children were interested in reading from it each day (2-4 pages per day). They enjoyed the diagrams and seeing the instruments. The CD added to the book. I just think it could have been better.