Michael Scott Cuthbert is the Homer A. Burnell Career Development Professor and an associate professor of music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a music historian whose work digs into the music of medieval Europe, particularly 14th-century Italy, and develops new computational systems for quickly examining huge repertories of musical scores. He also studies and teaches trends in contemporary music.
At Radcliffe, Cuthbert will combine his two principal interests in a project, “Digital Musicology of Late-Medieval Polyphony,” that will use music21 software to analyze the harmonic, rhythmic, and melodic structures of the entire surviving repertory of 14th- and early 15th-century French, Italian, and Spanish music with multiple parts (approximately 2,000 pieces). He will examine trends in consonance, voice and chord progressions, and cadence formulas over a much larger repertory than would be possible using conventional musicological techniques.
Cuthbert received his AB, AM, and PhD degrees from Harvard University. He has been a Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome and an I Tatti Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. His research has been supported by grants from the Seaver Institute and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cuthbert is the creator of the music21 open-source tool kit for computational musicology and the US principal investigator of Electronic Locator of Vertical Interval Successions (ELVIS): The First Large Data-Driven Research Project on Musical Style. His articles have appeared in Acta Musicologica, the Journal of New Music Research, Musica Disciplina, Studi Musicali, and other journals.