Children's Book of Music

Gr 3—6—Concise summaries and eye-catching photography are combined in this chronological look at music "from the first hum" to digital recording and reactable electronic instruments. The book explores the nature of music, its origins, and varied sounds. The organization creates a useful resource for research as well as for casual browsing with coded pages for instrument and composer profiles, styles, and performances within three major time periods: early music, classical (Western civilization) music, and modern music. Readers searching for instrumentation will find early folk instruments from around the world (including the Australian didgeridoo and Chinese pipa) and numerous pages describing the full orchestra and individual instrument families. The book also addresses dance, musicals, opera, and styles of the modern era. While the information is succinct, there is enough depth for basic information and unusual facts, and the narrative branches out far beyond the same four to eight composers found in the usual introductions for this age group. Readers will find recognizable names from current artists (Lady Gaga), popular artists and styles from the last century (Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Andres Segovia) and may trace the evolution of Western musical style through film, recorded music, musicals, and popular culture. Thirty-five musical highlights are included on the CD—for example, the sound of pan pipes, Debussy's Clair de Lune arranged for harp, or the overture from Figaro—each tagged by an icon and explanation within the book, provide teaching and listening aids. A solid resource for any library.—Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX

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