For serious music-oriented students, this provides a good basis for further study of the music, musicians and social climate of the Baroque. Thirteen succinct, colorful biographies cover a span of 135 years starting with 1557; included are such comparatively well-known figures as Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Telemann, and such lesser knowns as Gabrielli and Gesualdo. Emphasis is on the musician's contributions to the music of his time as well as to the development of later musical forms (e.g. Gesualdo's method of writing all vocal parts in one volume, Monteverdi's development of operatic form, Vivaldi's initiation of ""program music""); attention is given also to the influences of the church and nobility on their work. Throughout, references are made to elements of musical notation, rhythmic patterns and simple harmonic structure, and a comprehensive, concise section on Baroque instruments presupposes a knowledge of current orchestral instruments. It""s not a book for the beginner, then, despite the open page and attractive line drawings, but interesting and informative for a wide range of cognoscenti.