Clearvue has developed a series of “PowerCDs” that pack a great deal of multimedia information onto CD-ROMs. This music education software functions well, even on systems that do not have hard-disk storage space.

The course is probably most appropriate for middle school students. It begins with basic descriptions and examples of rhythm and melody as they evolved through different Western classical music traditions. Quicktime movies help illustrate various points and also provide photos of famous composers, advances in instrument design, and other historical references.

The reviewer says that each musical period is given sufficient coverage, as are a wide range of musical instruments. Much emphasis is placed on how the voice has been used as an instrument through the centuries.

The CD series is easy to navigate, and a teacher can stop an on-screen lecture at any time to clarify a point. Specific topics can be searched, too, through an extensive online encyclopedia. Sound quality was rated as acceptable.