Question: Who was Guido de Arezzo?
Singing in churches has been a form of worship for many centuries. During the Medieval period, a new type of harmony-singing accompanied by an organ emerged.This was called organum, a form of singing in three-part harmony. Organum became so popular that a new method of teaching choirs to sing became necessary. One such invention was made by Guido deArezzo. Who was Guido de Arezzo?
Answer: It was around 1030 when a new method to teach singing was invented by a monk and choirmaster named Guido de Arezzo. He based what is now known as do-re-mi on aLatin hymn called Ut queant laxis. He took the first two letters from the first words of each line.
UT queant laxis
Intime "do" was used instead of "ut" and "ti" was added.
Guido de Arezzo Biography
Born: c. 990
Died: 1050, place of death is unknown
Also Known As: He was a composer,music theorist, teacher, choirmaster and monk whose inventions became the foundation for Western music notation.
Influence: He studied at the Benedictine Abbey at Pomposa. He was later appointedas teacher in the cathedral school by the Bishop of Arezzo. In about 1029, he went to the Camaldolese monastery at Avellana where he continued to develop his methods.
Selected Works: Micrologusde disciplina artis musicae (commissioned by Bishop Theobald of Arezzo), Ut queant laxis (hymn to St. John the Baptist) and Micrologus (treatise).
Ever the inventor andteacher, Guido is said to have created another invention that would help choirs sight-sing. This invention is called the Guidonian Hand, wherein a note is assigned to each fingertip, joint and knuckle ofone hand (look at the accompanying illustration for reference). However, other historians contend that there is no evidence to connect Guido de Arezzo with the invention of the Guidonian Hand.
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