A recapitulation of music as ""a collective art"": ""Music does not exist by itself. It is always related to the society from which it emerges."" Young departs from the traditional lives-of-great-composers and development-of-harmony approaches and instead stresses the relation of musical mores to Zeitgeist: magic, religion, drama, painting, politics, and nationality. In doing so he provides a freshness to the often arbitrary classification of music by periods (Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern). He pays special attention to Handel, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, and, of course, Beethoven, and the cultural influences that affected their music. A section on elementary acoustics and a glossary are included. A brief, competent survey by a man who has written for years about music in general and specific composers in particular at the juvenile level.