Guido d'Arezzo

Guido d'Arezzo
b. c. 995 Italy
d. 1050 Avellana, Italy
Italian music theorist who made important developments in musical notation.
Guido was originally a monk at the Benedictine Abbey of Pomposa, where he began to introduce innovations into the symbolic representation of music, which greatly helped in the training of choristers. Because of jealousies aroused by this work, he was obliged to leave and settled in Arezzo, capital of the province of that name in northern Italy. Around 1030 he went to Rome at the invitation of the Pope, John XIX, to explain his theories, after which he appears to have settled at the monastery of S.Croce di Fonte, Avellana, where he became prior some three years before his death. In an effort to make it easier for the choristers to maintain correct pitch and to learn the complex polyphonic chants then in development, Guido introduced two major innovations. The first was the use of a four-line staff on which the pitch of successive notes could be recorded. The second was a nomenclature for the first six notes of the major scale supposedly based on the initial syllables of a hymn said to have been composed by him, namely ut (later do), re, mi, fa, so and la. These had a dramatic effect on the learning and singing of music. He also apparently devised forms of parallel voices for plainsong.
Guido's work is recorded in his treatise, c.1026, Micrologus.
Further Reading
Works describing the development of music and musical notation in medieval times include: W.C.Mickelson, 1977, Hugo Riemann's History of Music Theory, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
S.Sadie (ed.), 1980, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 9, London: Macmillan, 803.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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