Dent, Edward J(oseph)

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Dent, Edward J(oseph)

Dent, Edward J(oseph) , eminent English musicologist, teacher, and music critic; b. Ribston, Yorkshire, July 16, 1876; d. London, Aug. 22,1957. He studied withC. H. Lloyd at Eton Coll., then went to Cambridge to continue his studies with Charles Wood and Stanford (Mus.B., 1899; M.A., 1905). He was elected a Fellow of King’s Coll. there in 1902, and subsequently taught music history, harmony, counterpoint, and composition until 1918. He was also active in promoting opératic productions in England by preparing translations of libretti for performances at Cambridge, particularly of the opéras of Mozart. From 1918 he wrote music criticism in London. In 1919 he became one of the founders of the British Music Soc., which remained active until 1933. The ISCM came into being in 1922 largely through his efforts, and he served as its president until 1938 and again in 1945; he also was president of the Societe Internationale de Musicologie from 1931 until 1949. In 1926 he was appointed prof, of music at Cambridge, a position he held until 1941. He was made an honorary Mus.D. at the Univ. of Oxford (1932), Harvard (1936), and Cambridge (1947). In 1937 he was made a corresponding member of the American Musicological Soc. After his death, the Royal Musical Assn. created, in 1961, the Dent Medal, which is given annually to those selected for their important contributions to musicology. A scholar of the widest interests, Dent contributed numerous articles to music journals, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and symposia.


Alessandro Scarlatti (London, 1905; 2nd ed., rev. by F. Walker, 1960); Mozart’s opéras: A Critical Study (London, 1913; 3rd ed., rev., 1955); Terpander, or Music and the Future (London, 1926); Foundations of English opéra: A Study of Musical Drama in England during the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, 1928); Ferruccio Busoni (London, 1933; 2nd ed., 1966); Handel (London, 1934); Opéra (Harmondsworth, 1940; 5th ed., rev., 1949); Notes on Fugue for Beginners (Cambridge, 1941); A Theatre for Everybody: The Story of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells (London, 1945; 2nd ed., rev., 1946); The Rise of Romantic opéra (ed. by W. Dean; Cambridge, 1976); Selected Essays (ed. by H. Taylor; Cambridge, 1979).


P. Radcliffe, E. J. D.: A Centenary Memoir (Rickmansworth, 1976).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Dent, Edward J(oseph)

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