Critical & Historical Essays eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about Critical & Historical Essays.
[F:  c d f (d e) d | d d c d e e ] [W:  Ut queant laxis | Resonare fibris ] [F:  (e f g) e (d e) c d | f g a (g f) d d] [W:  Mira gestorum | Famuli tuorum ] [F:  (g a g) e f g d | a g a f (g a) a | (g f) d c e d ] [W:  Solve polluti | Labii reatum | Sancte Joannes]

Furthermore, as there were six of these syllables, he arranged the musical scale in groups of six notes instead of four, hexachords instead of tetrachords.  Commencing with G, which was the lowest note of the system in Hucbald’s time, the first hexachord was formed of G A B C D E; the second, following the example of the Greeks, he made to overlap the first, namely, C D E F G A; the third, likewise overlapping the second, commenced on F. In order to make this hexachord identical in structure with, the first and second, he flatted the B, thus making the succession of notes, F G A B[flat] C D. The next three hexachords were repetitions of the first three, namely, G A B C D E, C D E F G A, F G A B[flat] C D; the last was again a repetition of the first, G A B C D E.


[F:   g,     a, b, c  d   e    c  d  e  f  g   a    f  g  a  b- c’  d’ ]
[W:  [Gamma] A  B  C  D   E    C  D  E  F  G   a    F  G  a  b  c   d  ]
[W:  (Ut     re mi fa sol la) (Ut re mi fa sol la) (Ut re mi fa sol la)]
[Hexachords:       (Hard Low)        (Natural Low)           (Soft Low)]

[G:  g a b= c’ d’ e’ c’ d’ e’ f’ g’ a’ ] [W:  G a b c d e c d e f g aa ] [W:  (Ut re mi fa sol la) (Ut re mi fa sol la)] [Hexachords:  (Hard High) (Natural High)]

[G:  f’ g’ a’ b-’ c’’ d’’ g’ a’ b=’ c’’ d’’ e’’] [W:  f g aa bb cc dd g aa bb cc dd ee ] [W:  (Ut re mi fa sol la) (Ut re mi fa sol la)] [Hexachords:  (Soft High) (Hard Super Acute)]

To the lowest note of this scale, which was foreign to the Greek system, he gave a special name, gamma, after the Greek letter G. From this we get our word for the scale, the gamut.  The other notes remained the same as before, only that for the lowest octave capital letters were used; in the next octave, the notes were designated by small letters, and in the last octave by double letters, aa, bb, etc., as in the following example.

  [F:  g, g G:  a g’ | a’ g’’ ]
  [W:  Capitals. :  Small letters | Double or very small letters]


    [F:  c,, | c, | c G:  c’ | c’’ | c’’’ | c’’’’]
    [W:  C_ | C | c :  c’ | c’’ | c’’’ | c’’’’]
    [W:  Contra | Great | Small :  1st | 2nd | 3rd | 4th ]

Following out his system, he applied the newly acquired syllables to each of the hexachords—­for instance, the lowest hexachord, G A B C D E, which was called hard, became ut re mi fa sol la; the second, which was called natural, C D E F G A, also became ut re mi fa sol la; and the third, which was called soft, F G A B[flat] C D, became likewise ut re mi fa sol la.  The next three hexachords were treated in the same manner; the last or seventh hexachord was merely a repetition of the first and the fourth.

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Critical & Historical Essays from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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