SHAW'S MUSIC, edited by Dan H. Laurence (Dodd, Mead. Three volumes. $150). Bernard Shaw used to denigrate stylists; he always claimed to put down the words as they came to him, in as plain and direct a way as possible. A fine technique--but only for those whose thinking is equally lucid, vigorous and bright. In the music criticism especially--here collected for the first time in its entirety--Shaw achieved a legendary excellence in his judgment and its expression. Under the name Corno di Bassetto, he covered the London musical scene with the expertise of one not only well acquainted with the repertoire, but also fired by the polemical zest of the Fabian streetcorner speaker and the wit of a future dramatist. As Dan Laurence notes in the introduction to this handsome and authoritative edition, Shaw might honestly assert: "I could make deaf stockbrokers read my two pages on music." Besides the reviews reprinted from London Music in 1888-89 and Music in London 1890-94, the set also includes The Perfect Wagnerite (notable for its improbable reading of the Ring cycle in terms of the class struggle), How to Become a Musical Critic,, and many hitherto uncollected pieces.