How 50 instruments shaped the development of modern music
The History of Music in 50 Instruments
By Philip Wilkinson
Hardcover, 224 pages, $29.95 (Firefly Books)
Strike up the band! This informative, generously illustrated guided tour of musical history looks at 50 orchestra instruments and how they each contributed to the march of musical time—the spread of the lute from the Middle East throughout Europe during the Renaissance; the importance of the organ in cathedrals and churches; the versatility of the “exotic,” jingly-jangly tambourine; the role in the drum and the piccolo in the military; saxophones as the backbone of jazz. It’s a treasury of facts about composers, musicians and compositions and—of course—the instruments that made it all possible.
—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine