'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 15 March 2021

Review: Music: A Fold-out Graphic History

This extraordinary book from the Royal Albert Hall is like an encyclopedia of music in compact form. Beautifully designed with a wealth of information, it’s for anyone even slightly interested in any form of musical sound and its origins, and the people connected to it.

From 5000 BC turtle shells were used to rattle out music. Conch shells were used in religious rituals.

Maps are used to weave through the history of music and its use. This 2.5 metre fold-out with numbered timeline, is an historical journey back into ancient times and forward into modern ones.

The oldest piece of music was engraved in symbols on a tombstone in Turkey in 100 CE (Common Era). Whether it’s the reed flute, the seven-string guitar-like qin (Confucius’ favourite instrument), or the drone of the didgeridoo, from one side of the world to the other, some significant historical fact of musical origin can be found in Music: A Fold-out Graphic History.

More than adequate sections are allocated to music maestros, the recording of music, and recording technology up to digital times and others. Singers, countless music styles and their history are showcased in images and information.

The generous Glossary allows the reader to browse and find any era they are interested in. Due to the volume of research, and the selections made, there is a list of Principal Sources available for interested readers.

Notes from the Authors is a stimulating and informative section that relates to the techniques used to source material for this book.

Access to a Playlist of songs, musicians and styles used in the book has been created on the Spotify platform with instructions listed on how to log on.

The book can be opened from both ends as its sturdy cardboard fold-out pages are printed on both sides.

This intensively researched and carefully designed publication starts with musical information from 60,000 years ago till today and is definitely not one to be missed.

Title: Music: A Fold-out Graphic History
Author: Nicholas O'Neil & Susan Hayes
Illustrator: Ruby Taylor
Publisher: Walker Books, $ 34.99
Publication Date: 3 November 2020
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781999967949
For ages: 10+
Type: Non Fiction