This comprehensive overview of music in the nineteenth century draws on the most recent scholarship in the field. It avoids mere repertory surveys, focusing instead on issues which illuminate the subject in novel and interesting ways. The book is divided into two parts (1800-1850 and 1850-1900), each of which approaches the major repertory of the period by way of essays investigating the intellectual and socio-political history of the time. The music itself - including popular repertories - is discussed in five central chapters within each part, amplified by essays on topics such as nationalism, genius, and the emergent concept of an avant garde. The book concludes with an examination of musical styles and languages around the turn of the century. The addition of a detailed chronology and extensive glossaries makes this the most informed reference book on nineteenth-century music currently available.