Sunday, December 16, 2007

R.I.P.: H. Wiley Hitchcock

H. Wiley Hitchcock (musicologist)
(b: 28.Sep.1923, Detroit/MI; d: 5.Dec.2007, New York)

The musicologist H. Wiley Hitchcock died December 5th from prostrate cancer. Hitchcock founded the Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College in 1971 and directed it through 1993. He was on the board of (and actually presided) many musical organizations and was co-editor of the "New Grove Dictionary of American Music". In this scholarly encyclopedia he included vernacular idioms so far not found in similar books, such as pop music, jazz, country, rock and Native American Indian music. The New York Times obituary quotes from a 1986 interview about how as editor of the Ameri-Grove he handled disputed terms like the word "jazz" which many jazz musicians had found patronizing. Hitchcock: “Schoenberg didn’t like the word ‘atonality’ either, and Philip Glass doesn’t like ‘minimalism.’ That’s tough!”

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