Theodore Cyrus Karp
Theodore Cyrus Karp is an American musicologist. His principal area of study is saecular
Secular music
Secular music is non-religious music. "Secular" means being separate from religion.In the West, secular music developed in the Medieval period and was used in the Renaissance. Swaying authority from the Church that focused more on Common Law influenced all aspects of Medieval life, including music...

Medieval music
Medieval music is Western music written during the Middle Ages. This era begins with the fall of the Roman Empire and ends sometime in the early fifteenth century...

In music, monophony is the simplest of textures, consisting of melody without accompanying harmony. This may be realized as just one note at a time, or with the same note duplicated at the octave . If the entire melody is sung by two voices or a choir with an interval between the notes or in...

, especially the music of the trouvère
Trouvère , sometimes spelled trouveur , is the Northern French form of the word trobador . It refers to poet-composers who were roughly contemporary with and influenced by the troubadours but who composed their works in the northern dialects of France...

s. He is a major contributor in this area to the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an encyclopedic dictionary of music and musicians. Along with the German-language Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, it is the largest single reference work on Western music. The dictionary has gone through several editions since the 19th century...


Born in New York, New York, he attended Queens College of the City University of New York
City University of New York
The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City, with its administrative offices in Yorkville in Manhattan. It is the largest urban university in the United States, consisting of 23 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E...

, where he received his BA
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in 1947. He later attended the Juilliard School of Music and, from 1949 to 1950, the Catholic University
Catholic University of Leuven
The Catholic University of Leuven, or of Louvain, was the largest, oldest and most prominent university in Belgium. The university was founded in 1425 as the University of Leuven by John IV, Duke of Brabant and approved by a Papal bull by Pope Martin V.During France's occupation of Belgium in the...

 of Leuven
Leuven is the capital of the province of Flemish Brabant in the Flemish Region, Belgium...

. He returned to New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, where he studied under Curt Sachs
Curt Sachs
Curt Sachs was a German-born but American-domiciled musicologist. He was one of the founders of modern organology , and is probably best remembered today for co-authoring the Sachs-Hornbostel scheme of musical instrument classification with his fellow scholar Erich von Hornbostel.Born in Berlin,...

 and Gustave Reese
Gustave Reese
Gustave Reese was an American musicologist and teacher. Reese is known mainly for his work on medieval and Renaissance music, particularly with his two publications Music in the Middle Ages and Music in the Renaissance ; these two books remain the standard reference works for these two eras,...

. He received his PhD
PHD may refer to:*Ph.D., a doctorate of philosophy*Ph.D. , a 1980s British group*PHD finger, a protein sequence*PHD Mountain Software, an outdoor clothing and equipment company*PhD Docbook renderer, an XML renderer...

 from New York in 1960. In 1963 he was taken on as a faculty member by the University of California
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-tier public higher education system, which also includes the California State University...

 at Davis
Davis, California
Davis is a city in Yolo County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area...

 and in 1971 became a music professor. He moved to Northwestern University
Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, USA. Northwestern has eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools offering 124 undergraduate degrees and 145 graduate and professional degrees....

 in 1973, where he was dean of the department until 1988 and a professor until his retirement in 1996.

Besides trouvère monophony, Karp has written articles on the polyphony
In music, polyphony is a texture consisting of two or more independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords ....

 of the schools of Saint Martial's, Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain.The city's Cathedral is the destination today, as it has been throughout history, of the important 9th century medieval pilgrimage route, the Way of St. James...

, and Notre Dame
Notre Dame school
The group of composers working at or near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris from about 1160 to 1250, along with the music they produced, is referred to as the Notre Dame school, or the Notre Dame School of Polyphony....

. He proposed new methods for the transcription
Transcription (music)
In music, transcription can mean notating a piece or a sound which was previously unnotated, as, for example, an improvised jazz solo. Further examples include ethnomusicological notation of oral traditions of folk music, such as Béla Bartók's and Ralph Vaughan Williams' collections of the national...

 of polyphony from the manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s. In his recent research Karp has studied the application of computers to his field.


  • (with Gustave Reese) "Monophony in a Group of Renaissance Chansonniers", JAMS, v (1952), 4–15.
  • "Borrowed Material in Trouvère Music", AcM, xxxiv (1962), 87–101.
  • "A Lost Medieval Chansonnier", MQ, xlviii (1962), 50–67.
  • "The Trouvère Manuscript Tradition", The Department of Music, Queens College of the City of New York: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Festschrift, ed. A. Mell (New York, 1964), 25–52.
  • "Modal Variants in Medieval Secular Monophony", The Commonwealth of Music, in Honor of Curt Sachs, ed. G. Reese and R. Brandel (New York, 1965), 118–29.
  • "The Secular Works of Johannes Martini", Aspects of Medieval and Renaissance Music: a Birthday Offering to Gustave Reese, ed. J. LaRue and others (New York, 1966), 455–73.
  • "Towards a Critical Edition of Notre Dame Organa Dupla", MQ, lii (1966), 350–67.
  • "St. Martial and Santiago de Compostela: an Analytical Speculation", AcM, xxxix (1967), 144–60.
  • "Rhythmic Architecture in the Music of the High Middle Ages", Medievalia et humanistica, new ser., i (1970), 67–80 Dictionary of Music (New York, 1973, 2/1983).
  • "Medieval Music in Perspective", Medieval Studies, ed. J. M. Powell (Syracuse, NY, 1976, 2/1992), 401–31.
  • "Interrelationships between Poetic and Music Form in Trouvère Song", A Musical Offering: Essays in Honor of Martin Bernstein, ed. E. H. Clinkscale and C. Brook (New York, 1977), 137–61.
  • "Music", The Seven Liberal Arts in the Middle Ages, ed. D. L. Wagner (Bloomington, IN, 1983), 169–95.
  • "The Trouvère Chansons in Mensural Notation", Gordon Athol Anderson (1929–1981) in Memoriam (Henryville, PA, 1984), 474–94.
  • "The Cataloguing of Chant Manuscripts as an Aid to Critical Editions and Chant History", Foundations in Music Bibliography (Evanston, IL, 1986), 241–69.
  • "Compositional Process in Machaut's Ballades", Music from the Middle Ages through the Twentieth Century: Essays in Honor of Gwynn S. McPeek, ed. C. P. Comberiati and M.C. Steel (New York, 1988), 64–78.
  • "Interrelationships among Gregorian Chants: an Alternative View of Creativity in Early Chant", Studies in Musical Sources and Style: Essays in Honor of Jan LaRue, ed. E. K. Wolf and E. H. Roesner (Madison, WI, 1990), 1–40.
  • "Interrelationships between Old Roman and Gregorian Chant: some New Perspectives", Cantus Planus IV: Pécs (1990), 187–203.
  • "Mensural Irregularities in La Rue's Missa de Sancto Antonio", Israel Studies in Musicology, v (1990), 81–95.
  • "Some Chant Models for Isaac's Choralis Constantinus", Beyond the Moon: Festschrift Luther Dittmer, ed. B. Gillingham and P. Merkley (Ottawa, 1990), 322–49.
  • The Polyphony of Saint Martial and Santiago de Compostela (Berkeley and Oxford, 1992).
  • "Editing the Cortona Laudario", JM, xi (1993), 73–105.
  • "The Offertory in die solemnitatis", Laborare fratres in unum: Festschrift Laszlo Dobszay zum 60. Geburtstag, ed. J. Szendrei and D. Hiley (Hildesheim, 1995), 151–65.
  • Aspects of Orality and Formularity in Gregorian Chant (Evanston, IL, 1998).
  • "Some Tropes in Provins, Bibl. mun. MS 12", John Ohl Festschrift (Evanston, IL, forthcoming).
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