For many years now, I have wanted to know more about the history and details of music. Other than listening, my musical experience is all more than a decade old, and consists of (badly) playing the recorder and autoharp in elementary school. From time to time, various friends with musical knowledge have given me some informal background information, but I would appreciate something more comprehensive.
Can anyone suggest a book that does a good job of laying out what things like chords, octaves, syncopation, fugue, etc, etc actually mean? I tend to appreciate books that combine technical with historical elements best. Something that covers the evolution of music may be ideal.