Monday, June 29, 2009

Ut, re, mi, fa, so, la, . . . ut update

Well, a highly-knowledgable and hardly-doubtable expert in the field of music (that would be my dad) informed me that . . . posh, tosh, this ut stuff is old news! They have a name - solfege syllables, and were used by a guy named Guido of Arezzo to teach musically illiterate monks to sing the Gregorian chants. Then he invented the Guidonian Hand as a teaching aid.

The Guidonian Hand is based on hexachords (six instead of a scale of eight). So the te was actually not included because it was the seventh. And you have to break up the Sanc-te to get it anyway. And te is actually a different solfege note, half a step lower than ti. Not sure where ti came from. WHEW!

Here are the Latin lyrics for your further consideration.

Ut queant laxis
Resonare fibris
Mira gestorum
Famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti
Labii reatum, Sanc
Te loannes

It actually means: "So that these your servants may, with all their voice, resound your marvelous exploits, clean the guilt from our stained lips, O Saint John. "

And that is probably a good place to stop for now. Your comments are welcome.

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