Wilburn Scott Goldthwaite, b. Melrose, Mass. June 18, 1901; d. December 29, 1981, Urbana, Illinois. Son of James Wilburn and Emma (Chandler) Goldthwaite, studied at Yale under David Stanley Smith, Bruce Simonds, and others; while an undergraduate, served for two years as a correspondent for The Musical Digest. After receiving a Mus.B. degree, taught for one year (1926- 27) at Kent School, Kent, Conn. A year of special study at Harvard under Dr. Archibald T. Davison and Edward Burlingame Hill followed. In the fall of 1928, went to the University of Missouri as head of the theory department, beginning as Assistant Professor of music, later as Associate Professor. Part of the year 1932 was spent in Paris studying with Mile. Nadia Boulanger. Returned to Yale in 1938 for a year, taking degree of Mus.M. In 1938, joined the faculty of the University of Chicago as instructor and Curator of the Music Library. Made Assistant Professor of Music in 1943, and became Acting Chairman of the Department of Music in 1947. Did some work in bibliography and on some aspects of 18th century opera at Harvard 1941-42. Married Mildred Susan Bryant in 1937. Assisted in organizing the now defunct Revue Internationale de Musique in 1936; during summer of 1937, conducted chorus of one of Ford Motor Company's radio shows in New York; served as assistant music critic of Chicago Daily Tribune, 1942-44, assuming similar post with the Chicago Sun from 1944-46; published book reviews, pamphlets, many concert reviews; is supervising the revision of the music articles for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Member of the Music Library Association, served as Chairman of Committee on Music Library Training, and on February 5th, 1948, was elected President of the Association. He worked with Otto
Gombosi on the 15th-century chanson, earning a Harvard Ph.D. in 1956.
Became professor of musicology at the University of Illinois from 1955 to 1970.Â His
musical interests were wide-ranging, and were represented by articles on the chanson, keyboard ornamentation, music in Hungary, and historicism in Webern's Symphony; by his
continued activity in composition and theory; and by his bouts as music critic of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun (1941-5). He was at his best in helping students and younger colleagues. In the 1960s Scott directed the graduate program of the School of Music (UIUC) until he retired from the school in 1970.