Before Music: Where Instruments Come From

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From award-winning author Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrator Madison Safer, Before Music is an oversize nonfiction picture book exploring how music and musical instruments are made—across time and around the world.

Music doesn’t come out of nothing.
It always starts somewhere . . .
with something . . .
with someone.

Discover how music is made in this survey of musical instruments from around the world. Organized by material—from wood to gourds to found objects and more—
Before Music marries a lyrical core text with tons of informational material for curious readers.

In the narrative text, readers will encounter makers as they source their materials and craft instruments by hand, drawing the line from the natural world to the finished product and its sound. The sidebars offer much more to discover, including extensive instrument lists, short bios of musical innovators, and more.

“Centering creators and musicians of varying age, skin tone, and traditional dress, Safer’s naïf-style multimedia art gives fitting nod to folk traditions featured in this wide-ranging survey of musical instruments that spans centuries, continents, and cultures.” —Publishers Weekly