- John Reeves White
- , revised by John Caldwell
(b Konitz, West Prussia [now Chojnice, Poland], Oct 10, 1893; d Bloomington, IN, March 14, 1988). American musicologist of German origin. He studied mathematics at the universities of Bonn and Munich (1912–14) and, after war service, at the University of Berlin (1918–22). Active as a pianist and music teacher, his interests turned to musicology while he was at the Freie Schulgemeinde at Wickersdorf (1922–8) and he was largely self-taught as a musicologist. He took the doctorate in Berlin in 1936, the year of his emigration to the USA, with a dissertation on 15th- and 16th-century tonality. He was a lecturer at Harvard University (1938–42) and professor of musicology at Indiana University, Bloomington (1950–70); he was made professor emeritus in 1963, though he continued to teach until 1970, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1972.
When Apel arrived in the USA he was just beginning his productive years and his career was thereafter essentially ‘American’. His first large books in English, addressed to students in a newly expanding subject, were remarkable for their timeliness and durability. ...