Percy Buck

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Sir Percy Carter Buck (25 March 1871 – 3 October 1947) was an English music educator, writer, organist, and composer. He was born in London, and studied at Merchant Taylors' School and the Royal College of Music. He was the organist at Worcester College, Oxford (1891–94), Wells Cathedral (1896–99), and Bristol Cathedral (1899–1901). He was then appointed as director of music at Harrow School, and held that post until 1927. From 1910 to 1920, he was Professor of Music at Trinity College, Dublin; this was a non-residential post.

In 1925, Buck became the King Edward Professor of Music in the University of London; he was also teaching at the Royal College of Music. From 1927 to 1936, he was music adviser to the London County Council. He received a knighthood in 1937, on retiring from his post of Professor in London. He continued his duties at the Royal College of Music. In 1926 he started the RCM Junior Department with Miss Angela Bull, a "feeder system" for students, a scheme financed by the London County Council. Several successful students have gone through this program and it continues to this day. Buck taught at the RCM after his retirement from the University of London supervising teachers and taking the occasional composition student.[1]

Buck's compositions include a piano quintet, a string quintet, a violin sonata, a piano quartet, three organ sonatas, and several piano pieces and songs. He edited The English Psalter (London, 1925) with Charles Macpherson. The manuscripts of his early works were destroyed during the Second World War. He is possibly best remembered for his Oxford Song Book (1929), and his Psychology for Musicians (1944).


Buck was on the editorial board for OUP's Tudor Church Music and revised the Oxford History of Music, for which he edited an introductory volume (1929).[2]

  • The Organ: a Complete Method for the Study of Technique and Style (London, 1909)
  • Unfigured Harmony (Oxford, 1911)
  • Organ Playing (London, 1912)
  • The First Year at the Organ (London, 1913)
  • Acoustics for Musicians (Oxford, 1918)
  • The Scope of Music (Oxford, 1924)
  • A History of Music (London, 1929)
  • Psychology for Musicians (London, 1944)


  1. ^ Brister, Wanda, Biography of Madeleine Dring
  2. ^ Tudor Church Music. Edited by R. R. Terry, [E. H. Fellowes, S. T. Warner, A. Ramsbotham and P. C. Buck,] etc.

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