A fine survey of composers, their lives and works, with additional features to air and attract the average music lover, actually more than fulfills the promise of the title. Bach is chronologically and alphabetically the first ""great"" on the list; the appearance of Barber immediately following gives the range of chronological selection. For each composer there is a tabbing quote followed by dates of birth and death, a list of major works and ""also rans""; then there is a brief life history, a discussion of the music in general and analytical notes on major works in particular. The appendices provide additional valuable information. They include a brief history of music before Bach; the same of music since Bach; a list of one-hundred basic works for a record library, organized by music form and with recommended recordings; the anatomy of the symphony orchestra; a dictionary of musical forms; a glossary of musical terms; a select biography for further reading. A good book to have around the house, and one which younger listeners will find as informative as older ones.