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Jon Paxman's ambitious book interprets four centuries of Western classical music by considering its evolution from two different perspectives.Each of the eight chapters covers a 50 year period, tracing stylistic progressions with particular reference to musical genres and geographical locations. A corresponding Chronology explores the lives of individual composers, patrons, publishers, impresarios, conductors and performers, so providing a cultural and social framework that helps put each musical development into a broader historical context. Monumental in scope but lucid in style, this book will prove invaluable to anyone - student or enthusiast - who wants to comprehend the overwhelmingly rich and sometimes complex evolution of Western classical music. With contributions by Terry Barfoot, Katy Hamilton, Thomas Lydon and Robert Rawson.