Percy Grainger, if not a great composer, was a phenomenon. A man of extraordinary charisma, he was at once a legendary virtuoso pianist, a composer of highly original music, an arranger and `disher up' of folk music who pierced to the music's heart, and a figure of some historical significance in relation to ethnomusicology and music education. This book is a study of this paradoxical figure. It looks at the musical influence on his compositions of folk-song and of Grieg, and of those apparent polar opposites, Delius and Bach. It examines some of his more significant pieces in detail; considers his work in recreating traditional material and the music of others; sees him as a champion and transcriber of what is now known as Early Music; and looks at his sometimes alarmingly eccentric notions as to music's nature and purpose. Overriding barriers between art, folk, and pop music, Grainger is difficult to categorize, and may be, in the story of music, unique. Ultimately, his importance may lie in what he suggests about the potential functions of music in a rapidly changing world.