As a reference book, this serves its purpose admirably, and an immense amount of information is packed into its pages, without giving the impression of a text book or a dictionary of music. But for reading pleasure, the type is small and unprepossessing. The history goes back to the music of antiquity, through the polyphonic music of 1300's and 1400's, to the rise of oratorio and opera and the improvement of musical instruments. Then the years of Bach and Handel, Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven, the Romanticists, Wagner- and so to the moderns. Necessarily superficial and picking the highlights, the book does succeed in giving one a feel of the flow of history, the trends, moods and expression in the men who epitomized their periods.