Guido d'Arezzo


Guido d'Arezzo
Guidonian /gwi doh"nee euhn/, adj.
/gwee"daw dah rddet"tsaw/, (Guido Aretinus) ("Fra Guittone")
c995-1049?, Italian monk and music theorist: reformer of musical notation.

* * *

born с 990, Arezzo?
died 1050, Avellana?

Italian music theorist.

A Benedictine monk charged with training the choristers in the cathedral of Arezzo, he is credited with two important advances: the invention of the staff for notating exact pitches, and the use of different syllables to sing each pitch, or solmization. In his famous Micrologus (1026–33), he describes the use of at least a two-line staff and the use of syllables as a mnemonic device for singing musical pitches. The famous "Guidonian hand," an aid to modulation from one hexachord to another by using the joints of the hand to represent different pitches, is not mentioned in his extant writings.

* * *

▪ Italian musician
also called  Guido of Arezzo  
born c. 990, Arezzo? [Italy]
died 1050, Avellana?
 medieval music theorist whose principles served as a foundation for modern Western musical notation.

      Educated at the Benedictine abbey at Pomposa, Guido evidently made use of the music treatise of Odo of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and apparently developed his principles of staff notation there. He left Pomposa in about 1025 because his fellow monks resisted his musical innovations, and he was appointed by Theobald, bishop of Arezzo, as a teacher in the cathedral school and commissioned to write the Micrologus de disciplina artis musicae. The bishop also arranged for Guido to give (c. 1028) to Pope John XIX an antiphonary he had begun in Pomposa.

      Guido seems to have gone to the Camaldolese monastery at Avellana in 1029, and his fame developed from there. Many of the 11th-century manuscripts notated in the new manner came from Camaldolese houses.

      The fundamentals of the new method consisted in the construction by thirds of a system of four lines, or staff, and the use of letters as clefs. The red F-line and the yellow C-line were already in use, but Guido added a black line between the F and the C and another black line above the C. The neumes could now be placed on the lines and spaces between and a definite pitch relationship established. No longer was it necessary to learn melodies by rote, and Guido declared that his system reduced the 10 years normally required to become an ecclesiastical singer to a year.

      Guido was also developing his technique of solmization, described in his Epistola de ignoto cantu. There is no evidence that the Guidonian hand, a mnemonic device associated with his name and widely used in the Middle Ages, had any connection with Guido d'Arezzo.

      Guido is also credited with the composition of a hymn to St. John the Baptist, Ut queant laxis, in which the first syllable of each line falls on a different tone of the hexachord (the first six tones of the major scale); these syllables, ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la, are used in Latin countries as the names of the notes from c to a (ut was eventually replaced by do). His device was of immense practical value in teaching sight-reading of music and in learning melodies. Singers associated the syllables with certain intervals; mi to fa, in particular, always represented a half step.

      Before Guido an alphabetical notation using the letters from a to p was used in France as early as 996. Guido's system used a series of capital letters, small letters, and double small letters from a to g. Guido's system also came to be associated with the teaching of the gamut—the whole hexachord range (the range of notes available to the singer).

      In addition to his innovations Guido also described a variety of organum (adding to a plainchant melody a second voice singing different pitches) that moved largely, but not completely, in parallel fourths. Guido's work is known through his treatise the Micrologus.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Guido von Arezzo — Guido d Arezzo Guido von Arezzo (auch: Guido d Arezzo der Ältere, (Guido) Aretinus und Guido Monaco; * um 992; † unsicher: 17. Mai 1050 in Avellano) war ein Benediktinermönch, Musiktheoretiker und Lehrer. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guido de Arezzo — Guido Aretinus Estatua de Vitus Arretinus (Guido d Arezzo) en su localidad natal …   Wikipedia Español

  • Guido of Arezzo — or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido D Arezzo (991/992 ndash;after 1033) was a music theorist of the Medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation) that replaced neumatic… …   Wikipedia

  • Guido of Arezzo — • Article with life and summary of his contributions to musical theory and composition Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Guido of Arezzo     Guido of Arezzo      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Guido von Arezzo — (lat. Aretīnus), Musikschriftsteller, geb. um 990 nach gewöhnlicher Annahme in Arezzo, nach neuern Forschungen aber (Dom Germain Morin in der »Revue de l art chrétien«, 1888) aus der Umgegend von Paris gebürtig und erzogen im Kloster St. Maur les …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Guido von Arezzo — (Aretinus), ein Benediktinermönch zu Avellana bei Arezzo aus dem 11. Jahrh., erregte durch seine neue und äußerst erfolgreiche Methode des Gesang und Musikunterrichts bald solches Aufsehen, daß er von Papst Johann XX. nach Rom berufen wurde; da… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Guido d'Arezzo — [ä΄re tē′nō̂gwē′dō̂ dä ret′tsō̂] A.D. 990? 1050?; It. monk & musical theoretician: also called Guido Aretino [ä΄re tē′nō̂] …   English World dictionary

  • Guido de Arezzo — (Guido d´Arezzo) ► (990? 1050) Monje benedictino italiano. Se le atribuye la creación del pentagrama y dio nombre a las seis primeras notas de la escala, usando la primera sílaba de cada verso del himno a san Juan, de Pablo Diácono …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Guido d'Arezzo — Statue von Guido von Arezzo. Guido von Arezzo (auch: Guido d Arezzo der Ältere, (Guido) Aretinus und Guido Monaco; * um 992; † unsicher: 17. Mai 1050) in Avellano war ein Benediktinermönch, Musiktheoretiker und Lehrer. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Guido d'Arezzo — Pour les articles homonymes, voir saint Guy. Guido d Arezzo Guido d Arezzo en français parfois Gui ou Guy d Arezzo, voire Gui l Arétin, en latin Guido Aretinus, en italien parfois Guido Monaco est l un des saints …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.