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Edward Toner Cone ’39

Published in Mar. 9, 2005, issue

The salutatorian of our class and the first undergraduate to have an original musical composition accepted as a senior thesis, Ed died Oct. 23, 2004, following complications from open-heart surgery.

After service with the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, Ed joined the Princeton faculty in 1946, teaching music theory, history, and composition until his retirement in 1985. During that time he produced two of the 20th century's most influential books on Western music, Musical Form and Musical Performance and The Composer's Voice. Both were classics in the field.

A superb pianist and a fabled lecturer and teacher, Ed contributed in many ways to the intellectual life of the University. He was a senior fellow emeritus of the Council of the Humanities and received an honorary degree from the University in June 2004. Having received a Guggenheim Fellowship in musical composition in 1947, he went on to compose works for piano, voice, chorus, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. Some of these were performed at a very moving "Service of Thanksgiving for the Life of Edward T. Cone" at the University Chapel in November. We, his friends and classmates, also give thanks for the life he shared with us.

The Class of 1939

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