A comprehensive encyclopedia of musical instruction, covering all sections of the orchestra: strings, woodwind and brass, as well as historical, rare and non-Westerns instruments. An illustrated guide to instruments and their historical relatives, with specially commissioned photographs of all modern instruments. Famous players, orchestras and concert halls, and the role of the composer and the conductor. A history of music - making, beginning with man's first discovery of music and its development in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, India, China and Japan, charting key turning points such as the invention of the bow and valves, and ending with the modern instruments of the present day. Includes information on the evolution of the orchestra - from medieval consorts, baroque and classical orchestra we know today. Explores other forms such as folk music, brass and military bands, big bands and pop groups.