Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 4.djvu/227

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UTRECHT.

later. By a mutual arrangement with the simi- lar societies at Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotter- clam and Arnheim, no concerts take place on the same evenings in any of these towns, so that the soloists generally one vocalist and one instru- mentalist appear alternately at concerts in the different places. The concerts are given in the Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wesenschappen ; the average attendance is from 600 to 800. In 1881 the members of the society numbered over 200, so that the subscriptions afford a tolerably certain income. The present director is Mr. Richard Hoi, who has filled the place since 1862. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founda- tion of the society its history was written by Mr. van Reimsdijk. His work is entitled 'Het Stads- Muziekcollegie te Utrecht (Collegium Musicum Ultrajectinum) 1631-1881. Eene bijdrage tot de geschiedenis des Toonkurist in Nederland' (Utrecht 1881). [W.B.S.]

UT, RE, MI (Modern Ital. Do, re, mi). The three first syllables of the ' Guidonian system of Solmisation.' 1

Whether Guido d'Arezzo did, or did not, in- vent the system which, for more than eight centuries, has borne his name, is a question which has given rise to much discussion. A critical examination of the great Benedictine's own writings proves that many of the discoveries with which he has been credited were well known to Musicians, long before his birth ; while others were certainly not given to the world until long after his death. We know, for in- stance, that he neither invented the Monochord, nor the Clavier, though tradition honours him as the discoverer of both. Still, it is difficult to aaree with those who regard him as 'a mythical abstract.' Though he writes with perfect clear- ness, where technical questions are concerned, he speaks of himself, and his method of teaching, in terms so nalves and familiar, that we cannot af- ford to despise any additional light that tradition may throw upon them. We know that he first used the six famous syllables. Tradition asserts, that, from this small beginning, he developed the whole method of Solmisation in seven Hexa- ehords, 2 and the Harmonic (or Guidonian) Hand. Let us see how far the tradition is supported by known facts.

In a letter, addressed to his friend Brother Michael, about the year 1025, Guido speaks of the value, as an aid to memory, of the first six hemistichs of the Hymn for the festival of S. John the Baptist, ' Ut queaiit laxis.' ' If, there- fore,' he says, 'you would commit any sound, or Neuma, to memory, to the end that, where- soever you may wish, in whatsoever Melody, whether known to you or unknown, it may quickly present itself, so that you may at once

kenuntiate it, without any doubt, you must note that sound, or Neuma, in the beginning of some well-known Tune. And because, for the purpose of retaining every sound in the memory, after this manner, it is necessary to have ready a Melody which begins with that same sound, i See SOLMISATION. > See HEXACHOBD.

��UT, HE, ML

��211

��I have used the Melody which follows, for teaching children, from first to last. 3

C D F DE D

UT que-ant lax - is

D D C D E E

RE - so - na - re fl - bris

EFG E D EC D Mi - - ra ges - to - rum

F G a GFED D

PA - mu - li tu o - rum

G a FGE F G D

SOL . . . ve pol - lu - ti

a G a F G a a

LA - bi - i re - a turn

GF ED C E D.

Sane - te lo - an - nes.

'You see, therefore/ continues Guido, 'that this Melody begins, as to its six divisions, with six different sounds. He then, who, through prac- tice, can attain the power of leading off, with certainty, the beginning of each division, which- ever he may desire, will be in a position to strike these six sounds easily, wheresoever he may meet with them.' *

The directions here given, by Guido himself, clearly indicate the Solmisation of a typical Hexachord the Hexnchordon naturale by aid of the six initial syllables of the Hymn. Did he carry out the development of his original idea? Tradition asserts that he did, that he extended its application to the seven Hexa- chords, in succession, and even to their Muta- tions ; 5 illustrating his method by the help of the Harmonic Hand. And the tradition is supported by the testimony of Sigebertus Gem- blacensis, who, writing in 1113, says, in his 'Chronicon,' under the year 1028, that * Guido indicated these six sounds by means of the finger-joints of the left hand, following out the rising and falling of the same, with eye and ear, throughout a full Octave.' Guido himself, it is true, never recurs to the subject. But he does tell Brother Michael, in another part of his letter, that ' these things, though difficult to write about, are easily explained by word of mouth'; 6 and surely, with Sigebert's testimony before us, we can scarcely escape the conclusion that he really did afterwards explain the fuller details of his system to his friend, mvd voce, and teach them in his school. But, whether he did this or not, he has at least said enough to

8 ' SI qiiam ergo vocem vel neumam vis ita memoriae commendare, Ut ubicumque velis, In quocumque cantu, quern scias vel nescias, tibl mox possit occurrere, quatenus mox ilium Indubitanter possis enuntiare, debes ipsam vocem vel neumam in capite alicuius notis- slmae symphoniae notare. Et pro una quoque voce memoriae reti- nenda huiusmodi symphoniam in promtil habere, quae ab eadem voce inciplat: ut pote sit haec symphonia, qua ego docendis pueris imprimis atque etiam in ultimis utor."

  • 'Vides itaque, ut haec symphonia senis particulis suis a sex dl-

versis incipiat vocibus? Si quis itaque uniuscuiusque particulae caput ita exercltatus noverit, ut confestim quamcumque particulam voluerit, indubitanter incipiat, easdem sex voces ubicumque viderit secundum suas proprietates facile pronuntiare potent.'

e See MUTATION ; also the Table of Hexachords, vol. i. p. 734 6.

'Quae omnia cum viz lltterii utcumque slguiflcemus, faclllta- turn colloqulo denudamus.'

P2

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