A Fold out Graphic History

Illustrator: Ruby Taylor

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: What on Earth Books

Age 8+

History & The Past: General Interest

Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History is a richly illustrated timeline of the history of music from 60,000 years ago to the present day, published in partnership with the Royal Albert Hall.

Children’s author Susan Hayes and award-winning composer and musician Nicholas O’Neill take you on a journey through some of the most amazing musical moments from the first ever saxophone and early music recording to the invention of the record and artificial intelligence.

Learn about how different genres started – including classical, folk, jazz, gospel, rock 'n' roll, country, punk, grunge and pop. Discover the stories of music maestros including Beethoven, Wei Liangfu, Django Reinhardt, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie, Maria Callas, Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, and Beyonce. Marvel at the orchestra with a huge illustration set in the Royal Albert Hall, and find out about ancient instruments from all over the world.

Colourful lively illustrations by Ruby Taylor bring the book to life and provide a glimpse into how different music styles and instruments sound. Published in partnership with the Royal Albert Hall, this is a truly special book that will delight children and parents alike, providing an insight into some of the most iconic sounds in history.


Composer Nicholas O'Neill has written, arranged and performed in almost every style of music, from classical to metal, from plainchant to funk. He is the recipient of multiple composition awards, Composer in Residence to the UK Parliament Choir, keyboardist for rock band JEBO, and a writer of board game reviews for various magazines and website.

Susan Hayes writes and publishes many different kinds of books for children. She has numerous best sellers in every corner of the globe. Susan is in awe of children’s limitless imagination and thirst for knowledge. She strives to learn from the children she knows and meets, and to enjoy the world through their fresh, curious eyes. Susan lives in the East Sussex countryside with her own children - Sylvie, Finley, and Sam; her partner Neil; and two gorgeous but slightly silly ducks, Dolly and Izzy.


The cover alone is superb and begs opening! When you do open this wonderful book you are presented with an accordion of pages all about music, orchestras, composers, singers and so much more! The illustrations are stunning and bring to life a history of music for young readers.

My Shelves are Full

There is so much information packed into this concertina story of music. From the earliest flute in a cave in Germany in 41,000 BCE children and adults alike will have fun finding how the songs we make and the instruments we use to make them have changed over the centuries


Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History is a glorious concertina of music history from the earliest gourd instruments right up to AI composers – wide-ranging, colourful and absorbing.

The Guardian

Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History is more than just an essential read and reference book; as one sees the list of the artists who have performed at the Royal Albert Hall; one is reminded just how vital music and the venues that provide a platform for live artists are.

XS Noize

Whilst Music: A Fold-Out Graphic History towers over even the tallest of people; it is the probably one of the most accessible and easy to follow guides about music for all, from children in their early years to adults, by explaining things in small, informative, bitesize chunks.

XS Noize

Other books you'll love