JÁNOS KÁRPÁTI is Head Librarian and Professor of Musicology at the Budapest Academy of Music. He is also Chairman of the national branch of IAML, and President of the Hungarian Musicological Society.
In his volume Bartók’s String Quartets, Kárpáti proposed a novel analytical approach to Bartók’s style (an extended version entitled Bartók’s Chamber Music was published by Pendragon Press). Professor Kárpáti was also among the first to acknowledge the manifold connections that linked Bartók’s music to that of his contemporaries, a notion suppressed in the 1950s through pressure on Hungarian musicology, as a result of the Stalinistic aesthetic doctrine. In 1963 Kárpáti published a book on the music of Arnold Schoenberg, still at that time a daring undertaking. Other studies include his Bartók-Schoenberg-Stravinsky (1976). Kárpáti has for decades been one of the leading critics and analysts of contemporary Hungarian and other music. His work on the historiography of Eastern European music was honored by the International Music Council which called upon him to act as the regional coordinator and contributor to its project, the Universe of Music, a History (UHM).
From the study of the sporadic extra-European influences on Bartók (Bartók and the East, 1963), Kárpáti’s attention turned to the issue of extra-European influences on Western music in general (Influenze extraeuropee sulla musica occidentale, 1971). This was followed by his comprehensive investigation of the music of Eastern cultures, culminating in his Kelet senéje (Music of the East), a cross-cultural survey of the interconnections of musical material and social life, such as music and religion, music at court, music and drama in the main cultural centers of Asia. From 1978 on, several fellowships allowed Dr. Kárpáti to pursue his research in the Orient which resulted in the volumes Music as Organological Facts (1989) and Mythic and Ritual Correlations (1991). Professor Kárpáti has lectured frequently in Italy, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and France. He is currently working on a book entitled Music-Myth-Symbol in Japanese Culture.