A book whose appeal is definitely limited to students of music and to readers interested in processes of creation. This is a study of how composers saw their tasks and created their music; it is not concerned with dissection or analysis, but with genesis. He develops three steps in the creative process:- inspiration, elaboration, synthesis. He goes back into childhood, to the absorption in style that follows, to the phases of the artist in his work, to the effect of nature, to cycles of creative activity, to writing music commercially, to phases of the mechanics of writing (keyboard instruments versus paper, for example). He illustrates his successive points from the known facts about methods of work on the part of the masters,- Mozart, Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Wagner, Schubert, Verdi, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Berlioz, Palestrina, Tchaikovsky, and many others. And he includes musical examples to indicate phases of his argument.