Do you know a capella from zarzuela, or your major from your minor? Can you distinguish between a serenade and a symphony? If you only have 30 seconds, there is time — using this book — to understand the creative journey taken by classical music from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Our early ancestors understood pitch and rhythm, the basic tools that have been worked and ordered by composers and performers over the past 400 years into an extraordinary body of music written for soloists, chamber musicians and entire orchestras. Today, everyone has access to a prodigy of classical music which, far from being traditional or elitist, is alive and magical. From plainsong to programme music, appreciate the magnitude and majesty, the passion and the pathos of sounds that have the power to stir our emotions to great joy or infinite sadness. Here’s music to your ears.