The Story of Music caught my eye because I've always had an interest in music and the book seemed very familiar, possibly it's one that I read as a child. It was first published in 1968 and is part of Series 662 - History of the Arts. It is written for an older child, and is an incredibly comprehensive look at music throughout history.
The book begins with the first known example of a man making music - as depicted in a pre-historic cave painting. Early man believed that music-making had magical powers and could be used to control the weather or cure sickness. The book moves on to take a look at the first musical instruments and accounts of musical instruments and music in the Old Testament.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on minstrels in the Middle Ages, having studied this period and learned about some of the great stories like Beowulf and Siegfried.
The final page of the book laments the fact that today we can hear any music that we choose from any period, and that because all this music is so easily obtained we make too little effort to listen to it. The caption to the illustration below is "Good music unappreciated!", a radio playing in the background while a lady hoovers. I wonder what the author would have to say about the way in which we consume music today, where we really can listen to anything that we choose on demand and very much take it for granted.