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on 12 May 2017
This is a reprint of an approx 1997 book. It has not been properly updated and most developments of the last 20 years are missing. Only new inconsistent biographical details seem to be included.
The layout is pretty lazy in some cases images have been laid over text clipping the end of the line eg p120.
Overall a very sloppy production.
Much better produced and newer books out.
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on 26 June 2015
Beautifully produced and a joy to dip into, we get mainly double-page spreads on most topics. There are photographs galore, informatively captioned.

I like music but don’t consider myself to be very musical. I did a double lesson of music appreciation every Wednesday morning when I was in the Sixth Form in order to avoid games lessons and this book has continued my musical education.

The book starts off with the history of music-making, ancient civilisations and their music, different ways of producing sound – strings, bows, reeds, valves etc. Baroque, classical, romantic, modern etc. are explained. Brass and military bands, jazz rock and pop, famous conductors and orchestras are all featured.

We are introduced to the composers who wrote mainly for the church, such as Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus and Gesualdo. Also the early ones like Duffay and Guillame with their parody masses such as L’homme armee.

Schumann broke of an engagement when he found that the girl was illegitimate only to get engaged to a mere 15-year-old.I didn’t know that Gershwin died at the age of 39 from a brain tumour.

It gets a bit repetitive towards the end when it squeezes modern composers in.
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on 11 September 2013
This book was presented as a music prize. What a bargain and what a beautiful book! Very informative and well-presented. I would recommend to adults and children.
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on 13 April 2014
Very good, I look up each time I have queries about the instruments used in a classical symphony orchestra. Good for younger people too who just begin to get acquainted with classical music.

al
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on 23 April 2013
Had this for my birthday - something I have wanted for years - and I can dip into when required.
I like the section on the composers.
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on 16 May 2016
Useful book ,attractive presentation of content.
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on 10 November 2014
a basic book for young musicians
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on 10 May 2016
excellent
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