Harold AtKisson was born to farm life in Missouri in 1922, and escaped to the Army to play in the band before he was of age. They overlooked his youth because of his skill on the french horn, but in WWII he ended up on Amchitka Island, entirely bored for nearly two years. He went to Drexel University after the Army, served as band director at East Carolina State, and eventually went to Eastman School of Music where he met his 3rd wife. He published Basic Counterpoint while a doctoral student. He left Eastman and worked as a teacher, first in Mexico, MO, and then in Orlando, FL. During this time he wrote two more textbooks, on humanities and on English grammar, and self-published his poetry. His grammar textbook, Structure of the English Sentence, was as clear about language as Basic Counterpoint was for music, but it never found a publisher.