Musical Instruments through the Ages made its original appearance as a Penguin book in 1961. The work of the Galpin Society which was founded in London in 1947 by people seeking to understand and bring back to life older forms of musical instruments, it takes an essentially historical approach to describe many varieties, some of which are no longer in general use, some of which have evolved to become major modern instruments. Primitive musical instruments, ancient and folk forerunners to those in use today, are included; mechanical and electronic instruments are omitted. The contributors give technical information, describing the original and evolutionary instrument (even a Stradivari has been altered to obtain more powerful and brilliant effects at increased convenience to the performer); they tell who composed for what type (and in so doing, underscore their conviction that the instruments as originally constructed suit the music as originally conceived). They present a great deal of information in very readable fashion for a specific audience.