A History of Music for Children


A musical journey around the world to meet the composers, musicians and performers who are famous for making the music we love


ISBN: 9780500652473 Category:

Mary Richards, David Schweitzer


Following on from the success of the award-winning A History of Pictures for Children comes this introduction to the history of music that takes children on a musical journey around the world. Readers will meet along the way a diverse cast of composers, musicians and performers who all make music in different ways in a variety of different genres, from Bach to Billie Eilish, Mozart to Miriam Makeba.

Why do we make music? Which instruments make up a classical orchestra? How does music affect our brains and emotions? These are just some of the fascinating questions addressed in this book, 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 influencing change and connecting people. And what might the future of music hold? Exploring the technology we use to listen to and create music, the authors imagine new possibilities such as computer-generated compositions and robot musicians.

Includes an online playlist organized by chapter that children can listen to as they read.

Additional information

Weight 788 g
Dimensions 22.5 x 28.8 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 20 August 2021
Number of pages 96
Format Hardback
Contributors Illustrated by Rose Blake
Dimensions 22.5 x 28.8 cm
Weight 788 g


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Mary Richards is a publisher, author 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, both published by Thames & Hudson. 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 drama, 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.