Medieval Music

880-1000

900–949 Beginning of Mayan Post-Classical period (900–1519). Vikings discover Greenland (c. 900). Arab Spain under Abd ar-Rahman III becomes center of learning (912–961). Otto I becomes King of Germany (936).

950–999 Mieczyslaw I becomes first ruler of Poland (960). Eric the Red establishes first Viking colony in Greenland (982). Hugh Capet elected King of France in 987; Capetian dynasty to rule until 1328. Musical notation systematized (c. 990). Vikings and Danes attack Britain (988–999). Otto I crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope John XII (962).

c. 880
Hucbald was a Frankish music theorist, composer, teacher, writer, hagiographer, and Benedictine monk.
c. 880
Tuotilo was a medieval monk and composer.
c. 880
Regino, Abbot of Prum, writes his treatise on church music: “De harmonica institutione”.
c. 880
Stephen of Liege was a hagiographer and composer of church music.
c. 880
Notker the Stammerer was a musician, author, poet.
890 
Ratpert of St. Gallen born, hymn writer and composer.
c. 890 
Odo of Arezzo composer and theorist who worked in Arezzo.
942 
Kettledrums and trumpets brought to Europe by the Arabs. 
980 
Organ with 400 pipes finished at Winchester Monastery, England. 
980 
“Antiphonarium Codex Montpellier” written, important musical manuscript.
c. 989
Ademar de Chabannes composer and a successful literary forger.
995 
Guido d’Arezzo Italian music theorist and teacher born.

Regino of  Prum 

Regino of Prüm (Latin: Regino Prumiensis, German: Regino von Prüm; died 915) was a Benedictine churchman, who served as abbot of Prüm (892–99) and later of Saint Martin's at Trier, and chronicler, whose Chronicon is an important source for late Carolingian history.



















 


Biography

According to the statements of a later era, Regino was the son of noble parents and was born at the stronghold of Altrip on the Rhine near Speyer at an unknown date. From his election as abbot and from his writings, it is evident that he had entered the Benedictine Order, probably at Prüm itself, and that he had been a diligent student. The rich and celebrated Imperial Abbey of Prüm suffered greatly during the 9th century from the marauding incursions of the Norsemen. It had been twice seized and ravaged, in 882 AD and 892 AD. After its second devastation by the Danes, the abbot Farabert resigned his office and Regino was elected his successor in 892 AD. His labours for the restoration of the devastated abbey were hampered by the struggle between contending parties in Lorraine.

In 899 AD Regino was driven from his office by Richarius, later Bishop of Liège, the brother of Count Gerhard and count Mattfried of Hainaut. Richarius was made abbot; Regino resigned the position and retired to Trier, where he was honourably received by Archbishop Ratbod and was appointed abbot of St Martin's, a house which he later reformed. He supported the archbishop in the latter's efforts to carry out ecclesiastical reforms in that troubled era, rebuilt the Abbey of St. Martin that had been laid waste by the Norsemen, accompanied the archbishop on visitations, and used his leisure for writing. Regino died at Trier in 915 AD and was buried in St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier, his tomb being discovered there in 1581.


Works

Regino's works are edited in volume 132 of Migne's Patrologia Latina.

De harmonica institutione and Tonarius


Regino's earliest work was Epistola de harmonica institutione, a treatise on music which he wrote in the form of a letter to Archbishop Radbod. Its primary objective was to improve the liturgical singing in the churches of the diocese and probably to ensure Radbod's support for this. He also wrote the Tonarius, a collection of chants.
 

Chronicon

Regino's most influential work is his Chronicon, a history of the world from the commencement of the Christian era to 906, especially the history of affairs in Lorraine and the neighbourhood. It was dedicated to Adalberon, bishop of Augsburg (†909).

The first book, which ends in the year 741 AD with the death of Charles Martel, consists mainly of extracts from Bede, Paulus Diaconus and other writers. Of the second book (741-906 AD), the first part is a long excerpt of the Royal Frankish Annals down to 813, the latter part - from 814 AD onwards - being original and valuable, although suffering from faulty chronology. If the author's own statement is to be believed, he has here relied chiefly upon tradition and hearsay for his information. The work was continued to 967 by a monk of Trier, possibly Adalbert, archbishop of Magdeburg.

Regino's chronicle is an important source on Bulgarian medieval history in that it is the only contemporary text hinting at the organisation of the Council of Preslav ("… [Boris I] gathered his entire empire and placed his younger son [Simeon I] as prince…").

Historians who made use of Regino's chronicle include Cosmas of Prague.

The chronicle was first printed at Mainz in 1521.
 

De ecclesiasticis disciplinis

Regino also drew up, at the request of his friend and patron Radbod, Archbishop of Trier (d. 915), a collection of canons, Libri duo de synodalibus causis et disciplinis ecclesiasticis, dedicated to Hatto I, Archbishop of Mainz. It was a work on ecclesiastical discipline for use in ecclesiastical visitations. The work is divided into 434 sections. The title of the work in Migne's edition is Libellus DE ECCLESIASTICIS DISCIPLINIS ET RELIGIONE CHRISTIANA, COLLECTUS Ex jussu domini metropolitani Rathbodi Trevericae urbis episcopi, a Reginone quondam abbate Prumiensis monasterii, ex diversis sanctorum Patrum conciliis et decretis Romanorum pontificum. Substantial portions of this work were included in the Decretum Burchardi of 1012.

Section 364 (corresponding to Burchard 10.1) is the so-called Canon Episcopi (after its incipit Ut episcopi episcoporumque ministri omnibus viribus elaborare studeant) dealing with popular superstition.

 

 


Ratpert of St Gallen 

Ratpert of St Gallen (ca.855 - ca.911) was a scholar, writer, chronicler and poet at the Abbey of Saint Gall. He wrote in Medieval Latin and in Old High German.


Life

Ratpert probably entered the monastery as an oblate while still a child. The monastery operated two schools in parallel: the "inner school" prepared pupils for the monastic life while the "outer school" trained boys for the secular priesthood. Ratpert attended the St Gallen monastic "inner school", so was destined by his schooling to become a monk.

Ratpert's contemporaries in the "Inner School" included Notker the Poet and the charismatic poet-polymath Tuotilo of St Gallen: the three later became close colleagues in the monastery. Meanwhile an "outer school" contemporary was the combative Salomo, later Bishop of Constance and Abbot at St Gallen itself. Ratpert's teachers were Iso and the (by provenance Irish) Moengal. Moengal had originally arrived with his uncle Marcus, an itinerant bishop, when they turned up at St Gallen as pilgrims, visiting the shrine of their compatriot, Saint Gallus. The uncle, Marcus, had moved on while Moengal had stayed at St Gallen and entered the monastery. Here the monks renamed him Marcellus (Little Marcus), recalling the name of his departed uncle.

Ratpert took his own monastic vows some time round 873. The earliest surviving example of his writing than can be firmly dated is a legal deed dated 29 May 876. He himself taught at the Monastery School for many years. The last example of his work as a deed writer that can be dated was produced on 10 February 902. His precise year of death is not known, but has been placed by recent research around 911. The month and day of his year were 25 October, and his name is recorded under this day in the monastery's Book of the Dead.
 

Works

In addition to his duties as monastery school master and his activities as a writer of legal records, Ratpert produced poetry and chronicled the History of The Abbey. Little of his poetry has survived.

His other works include the All Saints' Day Litany, "Ardua spes mundi" (*The World's highest hope"),) the Eucharist song "Laudes, omnipotens, ferimus" ("We bring you praise, all powerful one"), an Old High German "St Gallen Song" and his Chronicle of the Monastery, "Casus sancti Galli" (literally "The Matter of St Gallen"). The Chronicle of the Monastery was subsequently, in the eleventh century, continued by Ekkehard IV (ca.980 - ca.1056) who at the time was also in charge of the Monastery School. Ratpert's original "St Gallen Song" survives today only in the form of its Latin translation, which was also penned by Ekkehard IV.

 

 


Notker the Stammerer 

Notker the Stammerer (Latin: Notcerus Balbulus) (c. 840 – 6 April 912), also called Notker I, Notker the Poet or Notker of Saint Gall, was a musician, author, poet, and Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Saint Gall in modern Switzerland. He is commonly accepted to be the "Monk of Saint Gall" (Monachus Sangallensis) who wrote De Carolo Magno, a book of anecdotes about the Emperor Charlemagne.












 









Biography

Notker was born around 840, to a distinguished family. He would seem to have been born at Jonschwil on the River Thur, south of Wil, in the modern canton of Saint Gall in Switzerland; some sources claim Elgg to be his place of birth. He studied with Tuotilo at Saint Gall's monastic school, and was taught by Iso of St. Gallen (de), and the Irishman, Moengall. He became a monk there and is mentioned as librarian in 890 and as master of guests in 892–4. He was chiefly active as a teacher, and displayed refinement of taste as poet and author

Ekkehard IV, the biographer of the monks of Saint Gall, lauds him as "delicate of body but not of mind, stuttering of tongue but not of intellect, pushing boldly forward in things Divine, a vessel of the Holy Spirit without equal in his time". He died in 912. He was beatified in 1512.
 

Works

He completed Erchanbert's chronicle, arranged a martyrology, composed a metrical biography of Saint Gall, and authored other works.

In his martyrology, he appeared to corroborate one of St Columba's miracles. St Columba, being an important father of Irish monasticism, was also important to St Gall and thus to Notker's own monastery. Adomnan of Iona had written that at one point Columba had through clairvoyance seen a city in Italy near Rome being destroyed by fiery sulphur as a divine punishment and that three thousand people had perished. And shortly after Columba saw this, sailors from Gaul arrived to tell the news of it. Notker claimed in his martyrology that this event happened and that an earthquake had destroyed a city which was called 'new'. It is unclear what this city was that Notker was claiming, although some thought it may have been Naples (previously called 'Neapolis' - new city). However Naples was destroyed by a volcano in 512 before Columba was born, and not during Columba's lifetime.

His Liber Hymnorum, created between 881 and 887, is an early collection of Sequences, which he called "hymns", mnemonic poems for remembering the series of pitches sung during a melisma in plainchant, especially in the Alleluia. It is unknown how many or which of the works contained in the collection are his. The hymn Media Vita, was erroneously attributed to him late in the Middle Ages.

Ekkehard IV wrote of fifty sequences composed by Notker. He was formerly considered to have been the inventor of the sequence, a new species of religious lyric, but this is now considered doubtful, though he did introduce the genre into Germany. It had been the custom to prolong the Alleluia in the Mass before the Gospel, modulating through a skillfully harmonized series of tones. Notker learned how to fit the separate syllables of a Latin text to the tones of this jubilation; this poem was called the sequence (q.v.), formerly called the "jubilation". (The reason for this name is uncertain.) From 881–7 Notker dedicated a collection of such verses to Bishop Liutward of Vercelli, but it is not known which or how many are his.

The Monk of Saint Gall

The "Monk of Saint Gall" (Latin: Monachus Sangallensis; the name is not contemporary, being given by modern scholars), the ninth-century writer of a volume of didactic eulogistic anecdotes regarding the Emperor Charlemagne, is now commonly believed to be Notker the Stammerer. This monk is known from his work to have been a native German-speaker, deriving from the Thurgau, only a few miles from the Abbey of Saint Gall; the region is also close to where Notker is believed to have derived from. The monk himself relates that he was raised by Adalbert, a former soldier who had fought against the Saxons, the Avars ("Huns" in his text) and the Slavs under the command of Kerold, brother of Hildegard, Charlemagne's second wife; he was also a friend of Adalbert's son, Werinbert, another monk at Saint Gall, who died as the book was in progress. His teacher was Grimald von Weißenburg (de), the Abbot of Saint Gall from 841 to 872, who was, the monk claims, himself a pupil of Alcuin.

The monk's untitled work, referred to by modern scholars as De Carolo Magno ("Concerning Charles the Great") or Gesta Caroli Magni ("The Deeds of Charles the Great"), is not a biography but consists instead of two books of anecdotes relating chiefly to the Emperor Charlemagne and his family, whose virtues are insistently invoked. It was written for Charles the Fat, great-grandson of Charlemagne, who visited Saint Gall in 883. It has been scorned by traditional historians, who refer to the Monk as one who "took pleasure in amusing anecdotes and witty tales, but who was ill-informed about the true march of historical events", and describe the work itself as a "mass of legend, saga, invention and reckless blundering": historical figures are claimed as living when in fact dead; claims are attributed to false sources (in one instance, the Monk claims that "to this King Pepin [the Short] the learned Bede has devoted almost an entire book of his Ecclesiastical History"; no such account exists in Bede's history – unsurprisingly, given that Bede died in 735 during the reign of Charlemagne's grandfather Charles Martel); and Saint Gall is frequently referenced as a location in anecdotes, regardless of historical verisimilitude (Pepin the Hunchback, for example, is supposed to have been sent to Saint Gall as punishment for his rebellion, and – in a trope owed to Livy's tale of Tarquin and the poppies – earns a promotion to rich Prüm Abbey after advising Charlemagne through an implicit parable of hoeing thistles to execute another group of rebels). The Monk also mocks and criticizes bishops and the prideful, high-born incompetent, showy in dress and fastidious and lazy in habits, whilst lauding the wise and skillful government of the Emperor with nods to the deserving poor. Several of the Monk's tales, such as that of the nine rings of the Avar stronghold, have been used in modern biographies of Charlemagne.

The Monk of Saint Gall is commonly believed to be Notker the Stammerer: Louis Halphen has delineated the points of similarity between the two: the Monk claims to be old, toothless and stammerering; and both share similar interests in church music, write with similar idioms, and are fond of quoting Virgil. The text is dated to the 880s from mentions in it of Carloman (died 880), half-brother of Charles the Fat, the "circumscribed lands" of Carloman's son Arnulf, who succeeded as King of the Germans in 887, and the destruction of Prüm Abbey, which occurred in 882.

Hucbald 

Hucbald (Hucbaldus, Hubaldus) (c. 840 or 850 – June 20, 930) was a Frankish music theorist, composer, teacher, writer, hagiographer, and Benedictine monk. Deeply influenced by Boethius' De Institutione Musica, he wrote the first systematic work on western music theory, aiming at reconciling through many notated examples ancient Greek music theory and the contemporary practice of the more recent so-called 'Gregorian chant'. 

Life

Born in Northern France, about 850, his name reveals that he could have been closely related to the Carolingian dynasty (he was a familiar of Charles the Bald's court, to whom he dedicated poetical works and luxurious manuscripts). He studied at Elnone Abbey (later named Saint-Amand Abbey, after its 7th-century founder) where his uncle Milo was chief master of studies (scholasticus), in the diocese of Doornik. Hucbald made rapid progress in the sciences of the quadrivium, including that of practical music, and, according to a laudatory 11th-century biographical account, at an early age composed a hymn in honour of St Andrew, which met with such success as to excite the jealousy of his uncle. It is said that Hucbald in consequence was compelled to leave St Amand and to seek protection from the bishop of Nevers.

He was also a companion of studies of such future masters as Remigius of Auxerre and Heiric of Auxerre, perhaps as a disciple of the court philosopher Johannes Scottus Eriugena ('John the Scot', i.e.,Irish). In 872 he was back again at Saint-Amand as the successor in the headmastership of the monastery school of his uncle, to whom he would have been presumably reconciled. Between 883 and 900 Hucbald went on several missions of reforming and reconstructing, after Norman destructions, various schools of music, including those of St. Bertin and Rheims. In 900, however, he returned to Saint-Amand, where he remained to the day of his death on June 20, 930.
 

Works

The only theoretical work which can positively be ascribed to him is his Musica (also known as De harmonica institutione), probably written about 880. The Musica enchiriadis, published with other writings of minor importance in Gerbert's Scriptores de Musica, and containing a complete system of musical science as well as instructions regarding notation, has now been proved to have originated elsewhere about the same time and to have been the work of unknown writers belonging to the same intellectual milieu. This work is celebrated chiefly for an essay on a new form of notation described today as Daseian notation and its readable transmission of the first record of Western polyphonic music.

Hucbald wrote also numerous lives of the saints and remained famous for a curious poem on bald men (Ecloga de calvis) dedicated to the archbishop of Mainz, where every word of the 146 hexameters begins with the letter C, initial of calvus. This kind of poetical tour de force belongs to the 'macaronic' literature of the time, inspired by Prudentius.

 

 

 


Tuotilo 

Saint Tuotilo (Tutilo, Tutilo von Gallen, Tutilo of Gall, Tutilo of Saint Gall) (c.850 – c.915) was a medieval monk and composer.


Life

Born either in Ireland[citation needed] or in Alemannic Germany, he is said to have been a large and powerfully built man, and an excellent boxer. Always cheerful and in excellent spirits, he was a general favourite. He received his education at St. Gall's, from Iso and the Irishman Moengall, teachers in the monastic school. He was the friend of Notker of St. Gall, with whom he studied music under Moengal. Educated at the Abbey of St. Gall, he remained to become a monk there.

Tuotilo was a poet, hymnist, architect, painter, sculptor, metal worker, and composer. His artistic interests included book illumination and music.

Tuotilo was a good speaker, had a fine musical voice, was a capital carver in wood, and an accomplished illuminator. Like most of the earlier monks of St. Gall, he was a clever musician, equally skilful with the trumpet and the harp. Besides being teacher of music in the upper school to the sons of the nobility, he was a classical tutor and could preach both in Latin and Greek. His chief accomplishments, however, were music and painting, and on these his reputation mainly rests. He was much in request and by the permission of his abbot travelled to distant places. One of his celebrated sculptures was the image of the Blessed Virgin for the cathedral at Metz. In addition, he was a mathematician and astronomer, and constructed an astrolabe or orrery, which showed the courses of the planets.

Tuotilo's Music







Tuotilo von St. Gallen: Cunctipotens genitor Deus, organum trope for 2 voices

Tuotilo played several instruments, including the harp. The history of the ecclesiastical drama begins with the trope sung as Introit of the Mass on Easter Sunday. It has come down to us in a St. Gallen manuscript dating from the time of Tuotilo. According to the works catalogue of Ekkehard IV, Casus sancti Galli, Tuotilo is the author of five tropes; further research ascribed five further tropes to him. Some of them are available in modern editions.
 

Tuotilo's Art

James Midgley Clark points out that the most interesting items at the St. Gallen Abbey in Switzerland are the ivory tablets attributed to Tuotilo, which form the cover of the Evangelium Longum. Tuotilo's paintings can be found at Konstanz, Metz, St. Gallen, and Mainz.

Veneration
Tuotilo was buried at a chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine in St. Gall, which was later renamed for him. His feast day is celebrated on March 28.

 




 

Stephen of Liege 

Stephen of Liège (Étienne de Liège) (c. 850 – 920) was bishop of Liège from 901 to 920. He was a hagiographer and composer of church music.

He was an abbot of Lobbes and canon of Metz Cathedral. His In Festi Sanctisissimae Trinitatis, an office for the feast of the Trinity, is available as a recording. The celebration of the Feast of the Holy Trinity is attributed to him.

 

 

 



Odo of Arezzo 

Odo of Arezzo or Abbot Oddo (fl. late 10th century) was a Medieval composer and theorist who worked in Arezzo. Little is known about his life, except that he was an Abbot in Arezzo, working under Bishop Donatus of Arezzo. Odo composed a tonary (a book of chants which usually included antiphons and responsories) with a discussion of modes, which survives in 20 manuscripts, four of which contain attributions to Odo. In several of the manuscripts a prologue ascribed in three out of six to Odo is entitled "Formulas quas vobis".

A Dialogus de musica has been mistakenly attributed to Odo of Arezzo.

 

 

 

Ademar de Chabannes 

Ademar de Chabannes (sometimes Adhémar de Chabannes) (c. 989 – 1034) was an eleventh-century French monk, a historian, a musical composer and a successful literary forger.














Life

Adémar was born at Chabannes, a village in today's Haute-Vienne département of France. Educated at the Abbey Saint-Martial de Limoges, he passed his life as a monk, both there and at the monastery of Saint-Cybard at Angoulême. Adémar died around 1034, most probably at Jerusalem, where he had gone on a pilgrimage.

 

Writings

When Adémar joined the Abbey Saint Martial of Limoges, he was educated by his uncle Roger de Chabannes, cantor of the Abbey between 1010 until his death in 1025. Adémar learnt kalligraphy, to read, to compose and to notate liturgical chant, to compile and to revise liturgical books, and to compose and to write liturgical poetry, homilies, chronicles and hagiography. His life was mainly spent in writing and transcribing chant books and chronicles, and his principal work is a history entitled Chronicon Aquitanicum et Francicum or Historia Francorum. This is in three books and deals with Frankish history from the fabulous reign of Pharamond, king of the Franks, to 1028. The first two books are scarcely more than a copy of earlier histories of Frankish kings, such as the Liber Historiae Francorum, the Continuation of Fredegar and the Annales regni Francorum. The third book, which deals with the period from 814 to 1028, is of considerable historical importance. It relies partly on the Chronicon Aquitanicum, to which Adémar himself added a final notice for the year 1028. 

 

Forgery

He embraced the developing tale that Saint Martial, the third century bishop who Christianized the Limoges district, had actually lived centuries earlier, and was in fact one of the original apostles. And he supplemented the less than scanty documentation for the alleged 'apostolicity' of Martial, first with a forged Life of Martial, as if composed by Martial's successor, Bishop Aurelian. To effect this claim, he composed an "Apostolic Mass" that still exists in Adémar's own hand (Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds Latin, (ms. 1121, ff. 28v-32v)). The local bishop and abbot seem to have cooperated in the project and the mass was first sung on Sunday, August 3, 1029.

Unfortunately for Adémar, the liturgy was disrupted by a travelling monk, Benedict of Chiusa, who denounced the improved Vita of Martial as a provincial forgery and the new liturgy as offensive to God. The word spread, and the promising young monk was disgraced. Adémar's reaction was to build forgery upon forgery, inventing a Council of 1031 that confirmed the 'apostolic' status of Martial, even a forged papal letter. The reality of this pathological tissue of forgeries was only unravelled in the 1920s, by a historian, Louis Saltet. Mainstream Catholic historians ignored Saltet's revelations until the 1990s.

In the long run, Adémar was successful. By the late 11th century, Martial was indeed venerated in Aquitaine as an apostle, though his legend was doubted elsewhere. In a very direct way, Adémar's Mass shows the power of liturgy to effect worship.
 

Works and legacy

Adémar composed his musical Mass and office according to the local school of his uncle Roger who worked as a cantor between 1010 until his death in 1025 at St. Martial Abbey using those modal patterns, as they have been documented in the tonaries of the new troper-prosers (Pa 1121, 909), chant books to which Adémar had partly contributed as a notator. Concerning the Apostolic feast of the patron he composed as well the hymns as the music which had become the metier of a cantor at Saint Martial. For this liturgical occasion which he had to create, he contributed like other cantors with own compositions, especially in the tropes (extended musical items added to existing liturgical texts).

According to James Grier, Professor of Music History in the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario, Adémar was the first person to write music using the musical notation still in use today. He placed the musical notes above the text, higher or lower according to the pitch. Professor Grier states that "Placement on the vertical axis remains the standard convention for indicating pitch in notation in Western culture and there is far greater weight on pitch than on many other elements such as dynamics and timbre". Therefore, in discovering this document written around 1000 years in the past, Professor Grier turns Adémar in one of the first—if not the first—to write music using "modern" notation.

 

 

 

 

Guido of Arezzo 

Guido of Arezzo (also Guido Aretinus, Guido Aretino, Guido da Arezzo, Guido Monaco, or Guido d'Arezzo, or Guy of Arezzo) (991/992 – after 1033) was an Italian music theorist of the Medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic notation; his text, the Micrologus, was the second-most-widely distributed treatise on music in the Middle Ages (after the writings of Boethius). 












 





Guido was a monk of the Benedictine order from the Italian city-state of Arezzo. Recent research has dated his Micrologus to 1025 or 1026; since Guido stated in a letter that he was thirty-four when he wrote it, his birthdate is presumed to be around 991 or 992. His early career was spent at the monastery of Pomposa, on the Adriatic coast near Ferrara. While there, he noted the difficulty that singers had in remembering Gregorian chants.

He came up with a method for teaching the singers to learn chants in a short time, and quickly became famous throughout north Italy. However, he attracted the hostility of the other monks at the abbey, prompting him to move to Arezzo, a town which had no abbey, but which did have a large group of cathedral singers, whose training Bishop Tedald invited him to conduct.

While at Arezzo, he developed new techniques for teaching, such as staff notation and the use of the "ut–re–mi–fa–so–la" (do–re–mi–fa–so–la) mnemonic (solmization). The ut–re–mi-fa-so-la syllables are taken from the initial syllables of each of the first six half-lines of the first stanza of the hymn Ut queant laxis, whose text is attributed to the Italian monk and scholar Paulus Diaconus (though the musical line either shares a common ancestor with the earlier setting of Horace's "Ode to Phyllis" (Odes 4.11) recorded in the Montpellier manuscript H425, or may even have been taken from it.)

Guido is credited with the invention of the Guidonian hand, a widely used mnemonic system where note names are mapped to parts of the human hand. However, only a rudimentary form of the Guidonian hand is actually described by Guido, and the fully elaborated system of natural, hard, and soft hexachords cannot be securely attributed to him. The Micrologus, written at the cathedral at Arezzo and dedicated to Tedald, contains Guido's teaching method as it had developed by that time. Soon it had attracted the attention of Pope John XIX, who invited Guido to Rome. Most likely he went there in 1028, but he soon returned to Arezzo, due to his poor health. It was then that he announced in a letter to Michael of Pomposa ("Epistola de ignoto cantu") his discovery of the "ut–re–mi" musical mnemonic. Little is known of him after this time.

The computer music notation system GUIDO music notation is named after him and his invention. The "International Guido d'Arezzo Polyphonic Contest" (Concorso Polifónico Guido d'Arezzo) is named after him.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Guido d'Arezzo - Ut queant laxis

Otto the First, King of the Germans. (23 November 912 – 7 May 973)

 

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