This is a revised second edition of Dr. Steblin's important work on key characteristics, first published in 1983 by UMI Research Press and re-issued by the University of Rochester Press in 1996. The revision has been limited to a thorough correction and update of the material in the first edition, so as to not disrupt the content and organization, for which the book has been praised as a significant and noteworthy reference for both scholars and research students alike. The book discusses the extra-musical meanings associated with various musical keys by ancient Greek and medieval-renaissance theorists and inparticular composers and writers on music in the Baroque, Classical, and early Romantic periods. Chapters focus on Mattheson's extensive key descriptions from 1713, the Rameau-Rousseau and Marpurg-Kirnberger controversies regarding unequal versus equal temperaments, and C. F. D. Schubart's influential list based on the sharp-flat (bright-dark) principle of key-distinctions. Rita Katherine Steblin is a world-renowned music scholar, living and working in Vienna.