The Micrologus de disciplina artis musicae and the Epistola Guidonis, Michaeli monacho de ignoto cantu directa by Guido von Arezzo are cornerstones of the history of music. (The work originated around 1025)
In his writings, Guido developed the basis for
modern notation and solmization
It was only a matter of time before someone put pen to paper and “founded” music notation in a concrete kind of way, this someone just happened to be Guido. Another would likely have seen the problem that binding notation so tightly with a defined pitch could have in confusing the understanding of melody. Luckily, Guido was not a theorist! Guido new that the pitch on with the choir of the Monks began their famous Johannes Hymn played almost no role in its construction for the singers; as little a roll as plays the difference between starting “Happy Birthday” on C or C# for us. A melody is characterized by its SHAPE, not by its pitches. Just as it is irrelevant to a math course whether the teacher ask “How much is 3×5” in the Mezzosoprano or Baritone register, pitch is irrelevant to a melody.
We need note names that are not bound to frequency; Guido von Arezzo comes through for us here. The names originally were “Ut Re Mi Fa Sol La” and in the progress of time they have become “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti”. In the contemporary views of cognitive science, solmization is “a must” if we aspire to teach music logically and effectively. With this, the app tabDo provides helpful services.
How do we apply this Information?
- A child understands the question “how much is 3×4” regardless of the vocal register with which their teacher asks the question.
- A child recognizes their Hot wheels model car as a Prosche, despite its shrunken proportions. Likewise, a mother recognizes her child whether she stands directly before him or 30 feet away.
- A child realizes his Lego set is always the same legos, regardless of the angel from which he views them.
- A child recognizes a tree in the garden at every time of day, whether in the harsh midday sun or the evening twilight
- And so on
Cognitive scientists call this stability of perception Viewpoint-Invarience.
This also exists in Music. We recognize the melody “Simple Gifts”, whether it is
- Louder or more quiet
- Faster or slower
- Played by a clarinets, on the piano, or sung
- In A major, Bb major, or C major
By cognitive science terms, a melody is a “transposable shape”.
This ability to transpose is the foundation of Solmization.
Solmization of a melody is “in its nature”. Thus, on the one hand it was resourceful that Guido von Arezzo would contrive Solmization and Notation at the same time, on the other however it was also obvious and natural.
And because we understand “Do Re Mi” as it hits our ears, before we have seen any notation; Solmization comes before notation. Sound before Sign. We work exactly thus with tabDo.