Embark on a musical journey around the world to meet the diverse cast of composers, musicians, and performers who are famous for making the music we love. From Johann Sebastian Bach to Billie Eilish, Hildegard of Bingen to DJ Kool Herc, Wolfgang Mozart to Miriam Makeba, musicians come from many different times and places and introduce music from a wide variety of genres.
Why do we make music? How does music affect our brains and emotions? These are just some of the fascinating questions addressed in A History of Music for Children, which looks at music’s transnational and boundary-breaking qualities. All over the world and throughout time, music has been recorded and passed down through different oral traditions and forms of notation. It has always been a powerful catalyst for change and connecting people. And what might the future of music hold? Exploring the technology used to listen to and create music, the authors imagine new possibilities such as computer-generated compositions and robot musicians.
Woven into this absorbing narrative is a stellar cast of musicians, including Mozart and his sister Maria Anna, Clara Schumann, Maria Callas, Bob Dylan, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Charlie Parker, Kraftwerk, John Cage, Beyonceé, and Mali griot Toumani Diabaté, among others. This book even includes a playlist of songs that you can listen to as you read.
Cheerful… a discursive exploration of the attributes of music and those who make it… Ends with a suitably eclectic playlist that's embedded in a QR code
— The Wall Street Journal
Mary Richards is an award-winning art publisher, writer, and illustrator. She adapted and edited David Hockney’s bestselling A History of Pictures for Children and is the author of Splat! The Most Exciting Artists of All Time.
David Schweitzer is a composer and songwriter. He has written music for children’s TV shows, including Charlie & Lola, The Cat in the Hat, Angry Birds, and Miffy. He has also scored documentaries and dramas, including the 2020 film Emma. Together with Mary, he runs a children’s orchestra in London.
Rose Blake is an award-winning artist and illustrator who has illustrated numerous books for children, including A History of Pictures for Children.