Harold Powers, the Scheide Professor of Music History, emeritus, at Princeton, died March 15, 2007, of liver cancer. He was 78.
Powers' published work dealt with music and language, medieval mode, Indian music, and Puccini, but was always based on the communicative aspects of music.
He earned a bachelor of music degree in piano from Syracuse University in 1950, and then an MFA in composition and musicology from Princeton in 1952. Two years followed in Madras, India, as a Fulbright fellow, before he received a Ph.D. in musicology in 1959. Among his mentors were Milton Babbitt *42 *92 and Edward Cone '39 *42. Powers taught at Harvard from 1958 to 1960, and then at Penn from 1961 to 1973, before coming back to Princeton. He remained on the faculty until retiring in 2001.
Music department chair Scott Burnham said, "A formidable polymath, Harry was also a force majeure in the classroom and seminar room." In 2006, the American Musicological Society established a travel fund in his name to encourage and assist younger academicians.
Powers is survived by his companion, Barbara Rosen; his former wife, Elizabeth Conner Powers; their two children; and three grandchildren.