Aldrich, Putnam C(alder)
- Paula Morgan
(b Swansea, MA, July 14, 1904; d Cannes, April 18, 1975). American musicologist and harpsichordist. After receiving the BA from Yale University in 1926, Aldrich went to Europe, where he studied the piano with Matthay in London and the harpsichord with Landowska in France. He returned to the USA to take the MA at Harvard in 1936 and the PhD there in 1942, working with Apel and Leichtentritt. From 1936 to 1944 he was director of the Boston Society of Ancient Instruments.
He began his teaching career in 1942 at the University of Texas, where he taught until 1944. He was on the staff of Western Reserve University (1946–8) and Mills College, Oakland, California (1948–50). In 1950 he was appointed professor of music at Stanford University, where he taught until his retirement in 1969.
Aldrich combined his scholarly interests with an active career as a harpsichordist. In particular he wrote on the performing practice of early music and the musical ornamentation of the 17th and 18th centuries. His study of the rhythm of 17th-century Italian monody examines notational problems encountered by present-day performers and editors of this music and furnishes provocative, sometimes controversial solutions....