Gilbert Trythall was born October 28, 1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began piano study at age 16. He studied at the University of Tennessee (composition with David Van Vactor) and Northwestern University (composition with Wallingford Riegger). He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1953-1957. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Cornell University. He went on to teach at Peabody College School of Music in Nashville, where he established its Electronic Music Studio. He later taught at West Virginia University (1974-1999), where he also served as Dean of College of Performing Arts. Following his retirement in 1999, Trythall embarked upon a two-year program to develop courses in music and composition in Brazil. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas. His scores and recordings are archived at the University of Tennessee.