If your musical bookshelf has room for only one book about pianos, then it MUST be this one. It is truly gorgeous to look at, lavishly and lusciously illustrated with color photos on every page. Once you get past its pretty face, however, you'll be pleased by the technical content as well. Presented in easy-to-understand fashion and accompanied by 200+ color photos of some 150 keyboard instruments, or paintings that feature keyboards or some other facet of music appreciation, here is the history of these marvelous instruments from the late 1600s right up to the very latest electronic machines, all in one, wonderful-to-look-at volume.
There are four double, double-page fold-outs (four-page centerfolds, if you will, but minus staples) with full-color photos of the best examples of the craftsmanship being explained in easy-to-understand language. The last one is my particular favorite, unveiling modern--even futuristic--examples of art as partner with design and function. On the regular pages, there are diagrams demonstrating the various keyboard instruments and the sometimes subtle differences between them. There is a chronology of piano manufacturers or 'houses' plus an alphabetical description or short history of them; a discography of recordings made on 'notable' (author's term, not mine) pianos and a glossary of terminology used in the book as well as the instruments, plus an index. Truly, everything you always wanted to know about these marvelous instruments--with the bonus of those wonderful, scrumptious photographs.
It's as much an ART book, as it is a MUSIC book, or even a HISTORY book. It's on my shelf, and it should be on yours. I wish I could give it ten stars! At the very least.