Guido d'Arezzo

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Guido d'Arezzo

(gwē`dō därĕt`tsō) or

Guido Aretinus

(ârətī`nəs), c.990–1050, Italian Benedictine monk, known for his contributions to musical notation and theory. His theoretical work Micrologus (c.1025) is one of the principal sources of our knowledge of organumorganum
, in music, compositional technique, developed in Europe during the 10th cent., in which each note of Gregorian chant melody was doubled by another note. In the earliest examples, called parallel organum, the doubling interval was constant, usually the lower fourth or
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, an early form of polyphony. His work in musical notationmusical notation,
symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds.

Two different systems of letters were used to write down the instrumental and the vocal music of ancient Greece. In his five textbooks on music theory Boethius (c.A.D. 470–A.D.
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 included the addition of two lines (one red, one yellow) to the two already serving as a staff and the use of both the lines and the spaces. Also important was his system of solmization (sometimes called, after him, Aretinian syllables), whereby the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la are used as names for the six tones, C to A, known as the hexachord. As the octave replaced the hexachord, an additional syllable, si or ti, was added, and eventually ut was replaced by the more singable do. Other revisions of Guido's system that have been suggested from time to time have not survived.
References in periodicals archive ?
Guido of Arezzo, a century later, added both these whole tones to make the hexachord (C-D-E-F-G-a), the basic tonal construct that was used in European music until replaced by the major scale (CD-E-F-G-a + b), sometime in the seventeenth century.
The Renaissance Reform of Medieval Music Theory: Guido of Arezzo between Myth and History.
Guido of Arezzo is surely the most familiar of all Medieval music theorists; certainly no history of music course fails to introduce Guido as the inventor of the staff and of solmization.
According to music history, a Benedictine monk named Guido of Arezzo invented music notation as the universal way to sight-read hymns, and for several centuries it worked for one-voice instruments.