This is a considered presentation of music which reads smoothly but without inspiration. It begins easily with a discussion of the elements of music from the nature of sound to orchestral instruments and then composers and forms. The authors concentrate on ""carefully selected types of musical expression that the young person may encounter today either in his home or in the concert hall."" They couple composers and the forms they contributed or developed but do not neglect their work in other areas. (For example, Mozart is linked with the concerto, but Don Giovanni is also recognized for its greatness.) In this manner, they are doubly informative. In each case they give the composer's history and define the form; they cover fugues, the concerto, the symphony, the overture, the song, piano music, opera, the symphonic poem. They discuss modern music and close with aleatory music (chance-created)-- a term that could not be applied to this well planned book, which holds to a consistent level of explanation and analysis, making the essential definitions and evaluations without enlarging upon them.