A native of Nashville, Tenn., he came to Princeton from the Episcopal School in Alexandria, Va., where he earned honors in academics, sports, and leadership, plus the nickname “Squints.”
At Princeton Bob joined Ivy Club and the Nassoons, becoming musical director. His roommates were Arch Gillies, Svend “Bo” Hansen, and Peter Sellon.
With a bachelor’s degree in music, Bob went on as a Woodrow Wilson fellow to earn a master’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley. Returning to Princeton for an MFA, he became among the first to earn a Ph.D. in his field of interest, music theory and composition.
Bob enjoyed a distinguished career as a professor and author in that field and following two years of study in Germany, began at the University of Houston. There he met his wife of 56 years, Carole Montgomery, a graduate student and later, an accomplished performing flautist. He became tenured at Temple University, followed by the University of Chicago and finally Yale, whose music department recruited Bob as a full professor. The New York Times included him in an article on the “Pharaohs” of academia.
A Southern gentleman and Renaissance man with many interests, Bob was beloved by many whose lives he enriched. He is survived by his wife, Carole; and his large, devoted Porter family.