I'm working my way through the AB Guide to Music Theory with a view to doing Grade 5 at some point. Every time I read a new chapter, I start wondering why the conventions are as they are, and when did people start using them and why do certain notes sound nicer than others and so on. I think I need a guide to the history of western music (maybe the physics of music too). Does anyone have any particular book that they would recommend?
I've played instruments for years, but I dropped music at school as soon as I could because I found the lessons boring.