Today’s Spotlight features a photograph, taken by Allegra Boverman
, of Michael Cuthbert, associate professor of music at MIT, in the Lewis Music Library.
One of the most successful composers of late 14th-century Italy was an unusual figure named Zachara da Teramo. A secretary to popes, despite being described as having no more than 10 fingers and toes combined, Zachara also wrote songs — including an ode to Pluto, god of the underworld, of all things.
In recent years Michael Cuthbert, an associate professor of music, has taken a deep dive into the compositions of Zachara and his 14th- and early 15th-century contemporaries, using the ear of a highly trained scholar and the data-analysis of a scientist.
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