I joined the living at Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1939, and I grew up on a small dairy farm in eastern Kansas. In 1957 I graduated from Prescott High School with special interests in basketball, trombone, and girls. I was much more successful in basketball and trombone than in other pursuits. I entered the University of Kansas, four years later gaining a BA degree in music history with a minor in German. I married Marilyn Shaw of Galena, Kansas, who was studying elementary education. Upon graduation I received a Fulbright Scholarship to Vienna, where I studied musicology at the University of Vienna and trombone at the Academy of Music. Marilyn taught at the American International School. However, the greatest experience of this year was our opportunity to indulge our passion for opera, both in Vienna and in Italy, France, and Germany.
We returned to the University of Kansas, where I received an MA degree in music history and a minor in music theory and composition, while also teaching as a part time instructor in the Western Civilization Department (essentially a history of philosophy). Marilyn continued her devotion to teaching children. The Fates then guided us to the University of Illinois, where I emerged in 1967 with a doctorate in musicology and a minor in philosophy.
The Fates then smiled again, leading me to an appointment in the School of Music at the University of Michigan. I worked my way up through the ranks (or perhaps Mark Twain would substitute “down” for “up”) to a full professorship of musicology, a department chairmanship, and associate deanship for undergraduate studies. As a teacher, I taught a wide variety of courses. My teaching assignments included graduate courses and seminars but I also taught undergraduate courses. I normally taught one course each semester for non-music majors, since I was convinced that a healthy musical life in the U.S. required an interested audience. During these years Marilyn retooled as a legal secretary, law being a long-standing interest of her family. She later took a teaching position at the Emerson School for Gifted Children.
Most of my publications dealt with manuscript studies in Renaissance music, and I wrote a variety of articles and books that appeared in the U.S. and Europe. I also gave numerous guest lectures at other universities as well as scholarly papers for conferences in the U.S. and Europe. A few other publications dealt with American music, others with opera, computing, and some others with bibliography and librarianship. The intersections between music and religion often came to the surface in my writings. In this regard, of particular importance is Renaissance Liturgical Imprints, A Census (RELICS), an online bibliographic catalog I developed in collaboration with staff at the University of Michigan Library and generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project, still available online, was perhaps the first musicological application on the World Wide Web. Consistent with this project, for some years I chaired a committee for the American Musicological Society that dealt with musicology and computing.
We retired in 2001. Eventually we concluded that winter months were ideally spent in Sarasota, a sophisticated city with good opera, symphony, ballet, and black theatre. We found a resort with remarkable activities and workshops. Other months we enjoy in Ann Arbor, with sojourns for operas in Chicago and Detroit, supplemented by Michigan football. The Michigan months are enriched by frequent excursions to our 20 acres of woodlands in the Irish Hills near Brooklyn, MI, where we delight in communing with nature and one of our best friends, an American Eskimo Dog.