Robert Thurston Dart studied keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music in London from 1938 to 1939, and also studied mathematics at University College, Exeter (B.Sc. 1942). In 1947 he was appointed assistant lecturer in music at Cambridge University, subsequently lecturer (1952), and professor (1962). In 1964 he was named King Edward Professor of Music at King’s College, University of London.
As a continuo player he made numerous appearances on the harpsichord, and made many harpsichord, clavichord and organ recordings, especially for the L'Oiseau-Lyre label; he was also a conductor. He served as editor of the Galpin Society Journal from 1947 to 1954 and secretary of Musica Britannica from 1950 to 1965. His book The Interpretation of Music (London, 1954) was highly influential, and he also wrote numerous seminal articles on aspects of musical sources, performance and interpretation.
ThurstonDart was at the center of the early music revival in England during the 1950's and 1960's.
During the late 1940's, Dart served as editor of the Galpin Society Journal and was involved in the editing and organizing of several other scholarly musical projects, including serving on the editorial committe of the Purcell Society, and was later a member of the library committee of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Dart's academic tenure at Cambridge during the early 1960's was marred by intra-faculty disputes, and ended in 1964 when he accepted the King Edward Professorship of Music at the University of London.
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