Arthur Eaglefield Hull

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Arthur Eaglefield Hull (10 March 1876 – 4 November 1928)[1] was an English music critic, writer, composer and organist.[2]

Initially a music student of the pianist and theorist Tobias Matthay, he graduated with a Doctorate of Music (Mus. Doc.) from Oxford University. He lived in Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and became an editor of several music publications including The Monthly Musical Record, International Library of Books on Music, Library of Music and musicians(a series of books on composers),[3] The Music Lover's library (short books on classical music subjects)[3] and others.[2] He also taught the piano and organ privately with Frederic Lord being one of his notable pupils.[4]

Hull wrote a biography of Alexander Scriabin, and coined the term "mystic chord"[5] to describe the harmonic and melodic device which the Russian composer used in some of his later works.[6] He also wrote a living biography of another mystically inclined composer, Cyril Scott, for whom he had a high regard, calling him "at the least, the equal of those (composers) of any other country".[7] Hull translated and edited biographies of Mussorgsky, Handel, Beethoven and others.[8] He also wrote books and articles on subjects such as musical harmony and organ technique (see bibliography), was a composer and arranger,[9] and produced editions of music scores (such as the "Organ Sonatas" of Alexandre Guilmant[10]).[2] He was the general editor for the reference work, "A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians" (Dent, 1924), which covered the period from 1880 onwards.[11]

In 1927, his book Music: Classical, Romantic and Modern[12] was published but material in it was found to be borrowed from other writers. How much of this was delibarate plagiarism and how much a mere careless, hasty failure to cite sources is not known, but the resultant public denunciations (led by lexicographer Percy Scholes) left Hull very upset. He committed suicide by throwing himself under a train at Huddersfield station.[2]


Books written by Hull:

Books co-written by Hull:

Books translated and/or edited by Hull:


  1. ^ Sadie, S. (ed.) (1980) The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians, [vol. #8]
  2. ^ a b c d Arthur Eaglefield Hull (Sibley Music Library – 7 September 2010).
  3. ^ a b See advertisement at the front of A great Russian tone-poet, Scriabin.
  4. ^ Margaret Frazer. "Frederic Lord". The Canadian Encyclopedia. 
  5. ^ "Skryabin and the Impossible", p.314. Simon Morrison. Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 51, No. 2. (Summer, 1998), pp. 283–330.
  6. ^ A great Russian tone poet, Scriabin ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1916) pp. 101–115.
  7. ^ Cyril Scott, composer, poet and philosopher ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1919) p180.
  8. ^ See advertisement at the front of Handel (London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1920).
  9. ^ Compositions and arrangements for the organ by A. E. Hull (University of Rochester).
  10. ^ Organ Sonatas by Alexandre Guilmant.
  11. ^ Review of books – A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Music and Letters, 1924, V4: 374–375).
  12. ^ Music; classical, romantic & modern (reprinted by Ayer Publishing, 1971).

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