Prout, Ebenezer , eminent English music theorist and teacher; b. Oundle, Northamptonshire, March 1, 1835; d. Hackney, Dec. 5, 1909. Excepting some piano lessons as a boy, and later a course with Charles Salaman, he was wholly self-taught. His father had him trained to be a schoolteacher, and he took the degree of B.A. at London Univ. in 1854. However, in 1859 he went over definitely to music. He was organist at Union Chapel in Islington from 1861 to 1873, a prof. of piano at the Crystal Palace School of Art from 1861 to 1885, a prof. of harmony and composition at the National Training School for Music (1876–82), and taught at the Royal Academy of Music (1879–1909). He held the non-resident position of prof. of music at Trinity Coll. in Dublin (from 1894), and also conducted the Hackney Choral Assn. (1876–90). He was the first ed. of the Monthly Musical Record (1871–75), and also music critic of The Academy (1874–79) and The Athenaeum (1879–89). hi 1895 both Dublin and Edinburgh univs. conferred on him the degree of Mus.Doc. honoris causa. His theoretical works included Instrumentation (1876; 3rd ed., 1904), Harmony, Its Theory and Practice (1889; 20th ed., entirely rewritten, 1903), Counterpoint, Strict and Free (1890), Double Counterpoint and Canon (1891), Fugue (1891), Fugai Analysis (1892), Musical Form (1893), and Applied Forms (1895), all of which have passed through many eds. He also publ. The Orchestra (2 vols., 1898–99; in Ger., 1905–06) and Some Notes on Bach’s Church-Cantatas (1907). He was a competent composer of useless works, among them 4 syms., 2 overtures, 2 organ concertos, a Piano Quintet, 2 string quartets, 2 piano quartets, Clarinet Sonata, the cantatas Hereward, Alfred, and The Red Cross Knight, a considerable amount of church music, and organ arrangements.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire