Michael Scott Cuthbert: October 11, 2012

Michael Scott Cuthbert is a musicologist who has worked extensively on music of the fourteenth-century, computational musicology, and minimalism and other music of the past forty years. His publications include seven articles on computational musicology, Ars Nova: French and Italian Music of the Fourteenth Century (with John Nádas), “Generalized Set Analysis and Sub-Saharan African Rhythm,” and “Free Improvisation: John Zorn and the Construction of Jewish Identity through Music.” Cuthbert’s current book project covers sacred music in Italy during the Black Death and Great Schism. His article, “Tipping the Iceberg: Missing Italian Polyphony from the Age of Schism,” used computer simulations to contradict the unquestioned assumption that most written medieval music has been lost. Cuthbert’s research lab has produced “music21,” an open-source toolkit for computer-aided musical analysis, which has an installed user base in the thousands. Cuthbert has won both the Rome Prize in Medieval Studies and the Villa I Tatti Fellowship in Italian Renaissance Studies. As a composer, his works have been performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars and other groups. Prior to coming to MIT, Cuthbert was on the faculties of Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges.


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