Abraham A. Schwadron, former chairman of the music department at UCLA who specialized in the comparative aesthetics of music and world music cultures, particularly Jewish music, died Wednesday at his West Los Angeles home.
He was 61 and died of an apparent heart attack.
A native of Brooklyn, Schwadron learned to play the clarinet from a friend who had taken lessons and played with a pickup band during World War II Marine Corps service.
Later some of the musicians he had met during that service formed a swing band and toured before he returned to school and obtained an undergraduate degree at Rhode Island College. Schwadron taught in the Connecticut public school system and then did graduate work at the University of Connecticut and Boston University where he received his doctorate degree in 1962.
He then taught at the University of Hawaii before becoming a professor at UCLA in 1968. He served as music department chairman from 1980 to 1983.
He was the author of many research papers in his specialty and in 1967 wrote a book, "Aesthetics: Dimension for Music Education." Most recently he had been tracing the more than 200 versions of the folk song "Chad Gad Yo," an allegorical song used as part of the Passover service that had changed over the centuries as Jews moved through various cultures.
Survivors include his wife, Ursula, two sons and three grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Malinow and Silverman Mortuary in West Los Angeles with burial to follow at Hillside Memorial Park.