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Robert P. Block—R.P. or Bob to his friends—(born on August 17, 1942 in Chicago; died on March 1, 2001 in Minneapolis, Minnesota). He was a prolific editor of early wind music, largely for Musica Rara and Nova Music companies, a composer of recorder music, a recorder teacher, and a facile performer on many woodwind instruments, old and new.
Bob grew up in Chicago and graduated from Roosevelt University, where he was proud to have studied with the distinguished musicologist Hans Tischler, among others. After that he went to The University of Iowa where he earned a Ph.D. in composition in 1968, part of his dissertation being a full-scale recorded concerto with string quintet (still unpublished). As a conservative before the advent of minimalism and neo-tonal music, he felt out of place in the compositional milieu of the day, so he never sought a job as a composition or music theory teacher. Instead, he remained in Iowa City teaching the recorder, editing, arranging, performing, assisting with the University of Iowa Collegium Musicum, and working intermittently at Eble Music Company until the 1980’s, when he transformed himself into a successful used-book dealer.
He saw himself as an artisan who played music and, in many ways, helped other people to play too. In 1994, he and his wife Marylaine moved to Minneapolis. They had one son, Brian Friedricksen Block.
Of his several hundred editions, recorder players should be most familiar with the complete works of the Loeillets (Jacques, Jean Baptiste, and Jean) for Musica Rara, and two collections for Nova Music: Sound the Bright Flutes: A Renaissance Anthology for Flute or Recorder Ensemble and At the Sign of the Crumhorn for an ensemble of crumhorns, recorders, shawns or curtals.
Bob was a generous and patient friend and mentor, a stimulating companion, and an enthusiast for the works of minor composers of all eras.
—David Lasocki and Lynn Waickman
API and National Music Publishers, distributed by Hal Leonard Music, has made available two more editions of Robert P. Block.
• Baroque Duets for Alto Recorders from 18th c flute literature –  AP-02086
• Six Sonatas, op. 25 by Boismortier for Soprano Recorder Duets – AP-02085

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