Talk:Guido of Arezzo

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Newly discovered influences on Guido's work[edit]

I've removed the following passage from the article because it appears to be original research. It makes its own argument rather than citing a particular author that would make the argument itself, and given that the evidence being presented is very indirect (and poorly cited, as well), the argument just isn't strong enough to hold up here without proper attribution to an author. - Rainwarrior 13:37, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

There are some revealing events which suggest that Guido was influenced by Muslim work, especially in the use of syllables for the musical scale. Soriano revealed that Guido had studied in Catalogna, a region neighbouring Andalusia renowned for teaching music in its colleges as early as the 9th cenury. Ibn Farnes (d. 888), for example, was the first to introduce it as an integral part of the department of the quadrivium. The famous musician Zariyab (789-857) was also renowned for his teaching of music in Spain as well as for the foundation of the first conservatory in the world. Evidence shows at least one scholar who, acquiring a vast knowledge of musical art from the Muslims, taught in European circles. Gerbert of Aurillac (later Pope Sylvester II) (d. 1003), known for playing a very important part in the renewal of scientific thought in Europe, was also influential in disseminating Muslim musical knowledge, including their musical theory. He studied in Andalusia and was nicknamed the Musician. Gerbert also taught the quadrivium which consisted of the four subjects in the upper division of the seven liberal arts: arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, and music. Gerbert taught Arabic numerals; evidence of this is found in "Cita et vera divisio monochordi in diatonico genere", a work of Bernelius (c. 990), his former pupil, which contained the Arabic numerals. This teaching was soon spread abroad by Gerbert's pupils Bernelius, Adalboldus (d. 1027) and Fulbertus (d. 1028). These numerals are also found in Pseudo-Odo of Cluny (d. 942) in a tract entitled "Regulae Domni Oddonis super abacum". Odo of Cluny, in discussing the eight tones, referred to Arabic and Jewish names including buq, re, schembs and so on . Meanwhile, Fulbertus is known to have taught in Chartres, and therefore musical knowledge must have taken similar courses. (see Soriano Fuertes Hitoire de la musica Espanola', vol. 1, p. 152)
Hunke established that these Arabic syllables were found in an eleventh century Latin treatise produced in Monte Cassino, a place which had been occupied by the Muslims a number of times, and was the retiring place of Constantine the African, the great Tunisian scholar who migrated from Tunis to Salerno and then to Monte Cassino. It is very unlikely that Guido, the monk, would have missed this treaty. (see Hunke, S. (1969), 'Shams al-'Arab Tasta'a 'ala Al-Gharb', 2nd edition, Commercial Office publishing, Beirut, p. 182)
I guess that he took it from the Arabist Henry George Farmer. I think that Farmer's theory should be mentioned in an encyclopedic article about Guido's solmisation, but in a footnote or reference and not as long as here. With Ziryab ("black pearl", erroneously quoted as "Zariyab") and the Andalusian school, it has certainly nothing to do (but of course, there are plenty of inventions which are falsely ascribed to Ziryab). --Platonykiss (talk) 13:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

MP3 of "electronic version"[edit]

I removed this link from the reference section:

At best it is an external link, not a reference, but I don't think it's relevant to this article. It's just a neat little piece of music inspired by a piece of music mentioned in the article. Furthermore, the external linking policy advises against links directly to rich media, and in this case I take issue with how poorly the link is described (I didn't know it was an mp3, and when I found that out I incorrectly assumed it would be a recording of some relevant reference text). There is no information as to the authorship or copyright of this material. - Rainwarrior 13:59, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

"ut–re–mi" (do–re–mi)[edit]

"and the use of the "ut–re–mi" (do–re–mi) mnemonic (solmization). The do–re–mi syllables are taken from the initial syllables of each of the first six half-lines of the first stanza of the hymn Ut queant laxis" : actually, not just three syllables, but ut-re-mi-fa-sol-la : see Solfège#Origin of the solfège syllables. -- (talk) 18:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, but please without the seventh syllable SI which was only used in modern solfeggio. I am missing the mention of the mutation (hexachordum naturale, durum and molle) which should be treated together with the Guidonian hand. I am not sure since when DO was used, but there is obviously a later variant of the solmisation hymn which starts with "Domine, ut queant laxis...". As there is another article about the "Guidonian hand", the whole passage could be omitted here. By the way, treatises of the 12th century also use a fourth hexachord to deduce the use of F sharp (F mi) as ficta. In the latter article I miss the reference to its source, and here I miss a division between life and work of Guido. The computer software named after him is a funny curiosity, but should rather be mentioned in a third section about the reception which is certainly important in an article about Guido! --Platonykiss (talk) 13:33, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

this whole section is entirely incorrect... check this out: Andreas Ornitho (Ornithoparchus) 'Musicæ Activæ Micrologus' (1517); "A Compendium of Musical Practice" John Dowland, trans. (1609), Dover Pub, NY 1973, pp 131, 143. Here's your answer/info, in original form (parentheses are mine):

c = ut (star/start?); d = sol re; e = la mi; f = faut; g = sol re ut (star of the sun?). And are named from the following: Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn...and 'la' implies 'la Luna/Moon'.

Ornitho got his info from Guido's Dialogus doctrinalis. Hyginus' Astronomica (ed. Bunte), II, 42, 6-10, mentions Saturn as 'the star of the Sun'. So too, Diodorus Siculus' Bibliotheca Historica, II, 30, 3-4, states the Babylonians called Saturn the 'sun-star'. See the Assyro-Babylonian MUL.APIN (Hunger-Pingree), specifically II, i, 38 & 64 which attest to Saturn's alternative name as MUL.UTU (Star of the Sun). Even in Astrology, as recently as the 1940's, Saturn is known as the 'Star of the Sun'. I do agree Guido had some access to some celestial Muslim documents. (talk) 06:50, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

That a 16th century writer believed that this was Guido's derivation, does not show that Guido thought so. Ornitho and Dowland have far less access to Guido's writings than we do. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 22:18, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Indeed, Ornitho must not have known Guido's Epistola de ignoto cantu, or he might not so blatantly have contradicted Guido's own explanation, which is found in that document. It must be kept in mind that fantastic etymologies were very fashionable up to the 17th century, and associational thinking (with its magical connotations of revealed truth) was valued over mere evidence. It was really only in the 19th century that scientific-minded spoil sports like the Grimm brothers began insisting upon reliable sources in place of the most vivid imagination in the explanation of such matters.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:38, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
What makes you think Guido wasnt lying about HIS reference? 'Oh that?, I got it...' from some Latin hymn, as opposed to some Muslim/Arabic writings..? (OR...maybe from the Greeks!?). Love the way you just poo-poo the whole thing. (talk) 03:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
What makes you thing Guido had any reason to lie about this? Is there some evidence that Arabic writings were well-known in Europe generally and in Italy in particular at this early date? The Arabic language has never been widely read in Europe, and so dissemination of Arabic thinking is generally understood to have been through Latin translations made in Spain in the 11th and 12th centuries. Rather late to be influencing Guido, I should think. And how did we get onto Arabic, anyway? The Babylonians didn't speak Arabic, and neither did the Assyrians.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:22, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Dowland's page 143 is translating Ornitho's work, which in turn references Guido's work..and it seems the ut–re–mi syllables are NOT taken from the initial syllables of the first stanza of the hymn "Ut queant laxis", but named after the planets; Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn...perhaps one might address that, and the following above CITATION paragraph..instead of who -Ornitho/Guido- read what when? Afterall, isn't that the subject of the heading? Maybe Guido got it from the Greeks? I suppose what is being written here is, simple put... the LONG held belief of Guido's inspiration is (possible) not true. (talk) 16:58, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I think Myke Cuthbert and I have adequately addressed the question of Ornitho's reliability on this point. What is needed to carry this discussion any further is some evidence that (1) sources in Arabic, Greek, or Assyrian were comprehensible to Western-European scholars like Guido as early as the 10th century, and (2) Guido had some reason to conceal his sources. Are you offering any?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:10, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
really quite bizarre.. you'd rather discuss Guido's sources than the word's being used..address that! How is it, we know it as 'sol' but it was originally known, written as 'sol re ut'. address that! The meaning of that word.. as given a few paragraphs above.. Address Saturn's alternative Assyro-Babylonian name as MUL.UTU (Star of the Sun)... oh, and here's something more to put in your pipe... 2602:304:CDAF:A3D0:110C:7033:E16A:42BB (talk) 00:27, 21 April 2016 (UTC)


Where does this date come from? Grove 2000 has "after 1033" for the best information about his death -- I think we should revert to that unless we have a better citation. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 07:22, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

  • date reverted; it was added by an editor just before blanking his user page and replacing it with "Wikipedia isn't a reliable source. Word of historian and teacher. Many Dilettantes." so there is reason to suspect that this information was not accurate. If it does go back it needs a cite. (oh, and the cite for Guido being credited with the Guidonian hand is not correct; that's not what the cited article says; almost the opposite). -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 07:36, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Algorithmic composition[edit]

Would be interesting to add something on this, since it is probably why there is software named after him. See here: Valkotukka (talk) 19:08, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

The author of that statement may be an expert in something, but musicology is not it. The key line, "Guido d'Arezzo ... resorted to using a number of simple rules that mapped liturgical texts in Gregorian chant, due to an overwhelming number of orders for his compositions", is all the proof that is necessary. We don't have any reason to believe that Guido was actually a composer (though it is of course possible), let alone that he amassed a fortune cranking out pop tunes to order like some demented tin-pan alley tunesmith! There is already a link to the notation software named after Guido, which is factual; we don't need one to an irresponsible fiction like this.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:36, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
Jerome, thanks for your informed input. I am referring to the overall subject of Guido's composition methods rather than the inaccurate portrait of his working style that you see in this particular author's phrasing. Aside from this particular example, there are plenty of publications (written in language as dry and academic as can be wished), that comment on the algorithmic (i.e., step-by-step process-based) methods for composition they see discussed in the Micrologus. I take it that you don't find this a worthwhile topic to be discussed in this article? Valkotukka (talk) 17:51, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps I need to re-read the Micrologus, but I do not recall a system of composition rules as such. If there is some sort of coherent system, then I would agree it should be discussed.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 19:02, 20 July 2016 (UTC)