”Music as formed an important part of human life since the earliest recorded history. There are many theories about how it began: a means if communication to religious ceremonies or to the rhythmical pattern of work in the fields, or as an adjunct to singing and dancing or other social activities. Music played a significant role in the early civilizations of the Indian subcontinent and China. However, the origins of Western music are to be found in Mesopotamia in the fourth millennium BC.”So begins The Da Capo History of Western Classical Music, which takes the reader through the evolution of an art form that, perhaps more than any other, touches the human soul directly. From the ancient Middle East and early Christian church, through the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, to Impressionism, Serialism, and Minimalism, this lavishly illustrated work traces the development of Western classical music, with particular reference to the instruments, composers, and major works of every period. It includes informative biography boxes of such masters as Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, and offers clear explanations of key musical forms and terms. Featuring 200 illustrations (100 in color), this concise overview is an ideal reference for music students and aficionados alike.