This site offers various education, education info and links, kids stuff, health info and tips, book reviews, cooking tips and recipes, business info and references, travel advisory another related information.homesite mapcontact us


Guido of Arezzo

By W. S. B. Mathews
The most important writer upon music in the eleventh century, and one of the most famous in the history of the art, was a monk named Guido, living at Arezzo, in Tuscany, a Benedictine in the abbey of Pontose.

He was a remarkably skillful teacher of ecclesiastical singing, both in his own monastery and at Rome, and in the effort to systematize the elements of music he introduceda number of important reforms, and is credited by later writers with many others which he did not himself originate, but which grew out of some of his suggestions. He is generally credited with having invented the art of solmization, the introduction of the staff, the use of the hand for teaching intervals, and the introduction of notes. He was not the first who introduced the staff.

Hucbald, as we have already seen, employed the spaces between the lines for designating pitch. Between his time and that of Guido, one or more lines were introduced in connection with the neumae. Guido, however, employed both the lines and the spaces, but instead of notes he wrote the Roman letters upon the lines and spaces according to their pitch. The notes were invented shortly after his time. For determining the correct pitch of the notes of the scale he explains the manner of demonstrating them upon the monochord. He mentions organum and diaphony, and remarks that he finds the succession of fifths and fourths very tiresome. The last treatise of the thirteenth century was written by John Cotton, an English monk, whose entire theory of music is made up from the Greek works.

Guido of Arezzo