This well-known study by an eminent musicologist constitutes one of the best mid-level explorations of the nature and function of the orchestra. Tracing the beginnings of modern music from the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries, the survey presents forty-four musical excerpts and thirteen sketches of instruments, plus appendices and quotations related to conducting methods. Featured composers include Purcell, Scarlatti, Bach, Handel, Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Wagner, Debussy, Elgar, and many others. Author Adam Carse examines the evolution of individual musical instruments along with varying performance techniques and concepts of instrumental color. He further explores the recognition of major instrumental groups and their musical distinctions, decisions regarding volume and balance of tone, the influence of musical subject matter upon orchestration, and many similar topics. This volume represents a splendid resource for music students, enthusiasts of musical history and classical music, and music lovers of all ages.