This text by professor-conductor Michael Bowles, the ex-Musical Director of the state of New Zealand, is more generous than even its ambitious title would indicate. In the hope and conviction that the American trend will follow the European, that there will be an expanding development of the amateur orchestra, he states his belief that such undertakings will, by providing composers with a vehicle, have a revitalizing effect on contemporary composition. A concise survey of the history of the orchestra and the changing role of the conductor occupies the first section of the book. This logically evolves into the definition of a conductor's domain, the limits and demands he must observe, a proper definition of interpretation--how to distinguish between responsibility to the music and undue license. Then on a more technical level, Michael Bowles scrutinizes the specific problems of conducting--gestures and the particular considerations with which various orchestral instruments must be approached. Written both for the non-conductor with a serious interest in music and a practising conductor, The Art of Conducting, with its introduction by Sir Adrian Boult, constitutes a lucid and valuable contribution to the musical library.