Dent, Edward J(oseph)
- Anthony Lewis
- and Nigel Fortune
(b Ribston, Yorks., July 16, 1876; d London, Aug 22, 1957). English musicologist, teacher, translator and critic. He was educated at Eton, where he studied music with C.H. Lloyd, and Cambridge, where his teachers were Charles Wood and Stanford. He was elected a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, in 1902, began lecturing on the history of music that year and also taught harmony, counterpoint and composition. In 1918 he left for London, where he worked as a music critic. He returned to Cambridge as professor of music in 1926, when he was again elected to a fellowship at King’s. He occupied the Cambridge chair for 15 years. From his retirement until his death he lived in London.
At Cambridge, Dent completely reorganized the teaching for the MusB degree. He realized that this degree would no longer be taken mainly by church organists but that a Cambridge education in music would produce members of other branches of the musical profession – school and university teachers, composers, critics, BBC staff and so on – and he consistently aimed at giving the curriculum greater breadth as a sound foundation, stressing particularly the study of music history and encouraging the performance of pre-19th-century, especially Baroque, music. He exercised a profound influence on several generations of young musicians, whose subsequent success as composers, teachers, performers or scholars owed much to his teaching and example. He himself composed a small amount of music, mainly of a conservative cast....