In the new edition of this highly successful book, Harold Schonberg has traced the consecutive line of composers from Claudio Monteverdi to the tonalists of the 1990s through a series of fascinating biographical chapters. Music, the author contends, is a continually evolving art, and there have been no geniuses, however, great, who have not been influenced by their predecessors. The great composers are here presented as human beings who lived and related to the real world around them. Schonberg brings the reader closer to an identification with the composers he discusses and thus closer to an understanding of their music. The book consequently places more emphasis on biographical details and less upon technical analysis of the music. For this newly designed edition, Schonberg has once again extended the book's coverage with informative and clearly written descriptions of the later serialists, minimalist composers, and the new tonalists of the 1990s. Scattered throughout are many changes and additions reflecting the wide range of musicological findings of the past fifteen years. An updated bibliography has been prepared and additional illustrations provided.