Walter Piston, the American composer and teacher, died aged 82 on 12 November 1976. As a young amateur he learned to play nearly all the instruments, but he did not begin academic study of music until he was 25 He graduated from Harvard University with highest honours in 1924, studied for two years in France with Nadia Boulanger, and returned to teach at Harvard for over three decades, retiring in 1960. Among his pupils were Leonard Bernstein and Elliott Carter. His three main text books (
Harmony, Counterpointand Orchestration) have been, widely used for many years.