Historically Speaking

Making sense of it all!

  • Archives

  • Pages

  • Subscribe

  • Meta


Posted by Admin on January 28, 2010

Guido of Arezzo (aka Guido Aretinus aka Guido da Arezzo aka Guido Monaco aka Guido d’Arezzo) was a Benedictine monk in Italy.  He was also a highly regarded music theorist of the Medieval era and the inventor of modern musical notation that replaced neumatic notation.

The “do-re-mi” scale are actually syllables taken from the initial syllables of each of the first six musical phrases of the first stanza of the hymn “Ut queant laxis (Hymn to St. John the Baptist)”.

Ut queant laxis
Resonare fibris
Mira gestorum
Famuli tuorum
Solve polluti
Labii reatum

Originally, the first note of the scale was “Ut” which was later replaced by “Do”  inspired by the word Dominus (Lord).

When the octave was created, a name for the seventh note of the scale had to be found.  Guido of Arezzo decided that initial letters of the last line of this same hymn would be used — Sancte Iohannes — and “Si” was added to the scale.

2 Responses to “Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do”

  1. george said

    So or Sol?
    Do Re Mi Fa SoL La Si Do

    • Admin said

      “So” and “Sol” are the same thing and the difference has to do with regions ergo both are correct while both are also incorrect (if you are in a region that recognizes the other spelling and pronunciation).

      There is also the case of the lesser known “si” where “si” is a raised fifth and Ti is the leading tone seventh. In C Major this would mean that So/Sol is G, Si is G#, and Ti is B.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: