By Shehtaz Huq ’14
By the time Zachary Jones ’13 (Bethlehem, Pa.) is 24 years old, he will be the co-author and co-publisher of a major international collaboration.
A Marquis Scholar and double major in music and anthropology & sociology, Jones recently presented one of three undergraduate papers selected for the prestigious 2013 College Music Society conference. The paper was a reworking of an earlier draft submitted for a course in his sophomore year, one that convinced Anthony Cummings, professor of music, of Jones’ potential as a research assistant.
That lasting impression was what motivated Cummings to approach Jones last year about the Delightful Madrigals for Four Voices project, which focuses on the first edition of Italian Renaissance composer Antonio Molino’s musical compositions. Jones is working on it through the College’s EXCEL Scholars undergraduate research program.
“Translating Renaissance notation into modern notation is challenging work,” Cummings says, “and I wanted a student who with rudimentary training would be able to prepare the modern version of these compositions.”
“Two years ago, I recall thinking that the content and intellectual substance of his work was remarkable for a college sophomore,” adds Cummings. “Today, I see him being challenged by complexity in a positive direction.”
For the Delightful Madrigals project, Jones transcribed Renaissance choral pieces into modern notation format using Sibelius music software, complete with text-setting and other editing responsibilities. The translated version of the first edition is to be published later this year by the Italian Institute for the History of Music, a foundation of musicological research that promotes musical and historical studies at an international level. Other co-authors are Linda L. Carroll of Tulane University and Marina Toffetti of the University of Padua.
“Zach’s work thus far has amounted to such a major contribution that it is justified listing him as one of the four co-authors of the book,” Cummings says. “As one of the co-editors and a full contributor to this book, Zach will be a published author by the time he is 24.”
Jones’ post-graduation plans include a future in music.
“I am interested in securing a position where I can promote music appreciation, exposure, and understanding in what seems to be an increasingly difficult climate for acknowledging art or taking art seriously among young people,” he says.