Hitchcock, H. Wiley 1923-2007 (Hugh Wiley Hitchcock)

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Hitchcock, H. Wiley 1923-2007 (Hugh Wiley Hitchcock)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 28, 1923, in Detroit, MI; died of prostate cancer, December 5, 2007, in New York, NY. Musicologist, educator, editor, and author. Hitchcock was neither musician nor composer by profession, but when he produced the New Grove Dictionary ofAmerican Music in 1986, he guaranteed his place among the major contributors to the American music scene. For the first time, his critics said, American music and musicians were treated with the same serious scholarship as the giants of European music; not only that, but popular music was granted equal status with classical work as a legitimate form worth scholarly attention. Hitchcock popularized American music in his work as well as his writing. After a brief period at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty of the City University of New York in 1961, teaching at Hunter College for ten years, than at Brooklyn College from 1971 until his official retirement in 1993. While there he founded and directed the Institute for Studies in American Music. Hitchcock continued to lecture occasionally at other institutions throughout the 1990s. His own scholarship was not limited to American music. He was considered an expert on the European baroque and the music of composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. He was also especially fond of the sometime startling work of groundbreaking American composer Charles Ives. Hitchcock's scholarship took him abroad as a Fulbright fellow in Italy and France, and to California, where he was a scholar at the J. Paul Getty Center for Art History and the Humanities in 1985. In addition to the "American Grove," Hitchcock was the author of works on Charpentier, Ives, and other composers. His survey, Music in the United States: A Historical Introduction went through several editions from 1969 to 2000. He was the editor of nearly a dozen other titles, including The American Music Miscellany (1972), and area editor of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980).



Crawford, Richard, R. Allen Lott, and Carol J. Oja, editors, A Celebration of American Music: Words and Music in Honor of H. Wiley Hitchcock, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 1990.


New York Times, December 9, 2007, p. A33.

Times (London, England), December 14, 2007, p. 77.