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] He was the founder of the British Music Society.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Initially a music student of the pianist and theorist Tobias Matthay, he graduated with a Doctorate of Music (Mus. Doc.) from Oxford University.


Hull lived in Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and became an editor of several music publications including The Monthly Musical Record,[4] International Library of Books on Music, Library of Music and musicians (a series of books on composers), The Music Lover's library (short books on classical music subjects) and others.[2] He also taught the piano and organ privately with Frederic Lord being one of his notable pupils.[5]

Hull wrote a biography of Alexander Scriabin, and coined the term "mystic chord"[6] to describe the harmonic and melodic device which the Russian composer used in some of his later works.[7] 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".[8] Hull translated and edited biographies of Mussorgsky, Handel, Beethoven and others.[9] He also wrote books and articles on subjects such as musical harmony and organ technique[10] (see bibliography), was a composer and arranger,[11] and produced editions of music scores (such as the "Organ Sonatas" of Alexandre Guilmant[12]).[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.[13]

In 1927, his book Music: Classical, Romantic and Modern was published but material in it was found to be borrowed from other writers. How much of this was 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[edit]

  • Organ playing: its technique and expression (London: Augener, 1911).
  • Modern harmony, its explanation and application (London, Augener Ltd, 1915).
  • A great Russian tone poet, Scriabin ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1916).[14]
  • Harmony for students (London: Augener ltd., 1918).
  • Cyril Scott, composer, poet and philosopher ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1919).

Books co-written by Hull[edit]

  • Scott, Cyril & Hull, A. E. The Philosophy of modernism – its connection with music (London: Waverley Book Co.).
  • Calvocoressi, M. D. & Hull, A. E. The national music of Russia, Musorgsky and Scriabin (London: Waverley Book).

Books translated and/or edited by Hull[edit]

  • Rolland, Romain. Handel (New York : Henry Holt and Co., 1916).
  • Musorgsky, the Russian musical nationalist (London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1919?).
  • A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Dent, London & Toronto 1924).


  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. ^ Alexandre Guilmant. Organ sonatas. Courier Corporation; 1913. ISBN 978-0-486-40620-6. p. 137–.
  4. ^ "An English Progressivist". The Cambridge Companion to Vaughan Williams. Cambridge University Press; 14 November 2013. ISBN 978-0-521-19768-7. p. 67, 76.
  5. ^ Margaret Frazer. "Frederic Lord". The Canadian Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ "Skryabin and the Impossible", p.314. Simon Morrison. Journal of the American Musicological Society, Vol. 51, No. 2. (Summer, 1998), pp. 283–330.
  7. ^ A great Russian tone poet, Scriabin ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1916) pp. 101–115.
  8. ^ Cyril Scott, composer, poet and philosopher ("Library of Music and Musicians", London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1919) p180.
  9. ^ See advertisement at the front of Handel (London : K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 1920).
  10. ^ Grainger the Modernist. Routledge; 9 March 2016. ISBN 978-1-317-12502-0. p. 80–.
  11. ^ Compositions and arrangements for the organ by A. E. Hull (University of Rochester).
  12. ^ Organ Sonatas by Alexandre Guilmant.
  13. ^ Review of books – A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians (Music and Letters, 1924, V4: 374–375).
  14. ^ The Alexander Scriabin Companion: History, Performance, and Lore. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers; 27 June 2017. ISBN 978-1-4422-3262-4. p. 274–.

External links[edit]