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MUSIC OF EUROPE.
319
" At the service of God, it too often sounds, not as if we were praising Him, but as if we were quarrelling, and scolding among ourselves."
He devoted himself greatly, to the teaching of a most important branch of singing, i. e., sight reading, and soon brought his cloister class to such perfection in this that they astonished all beholders. He was not however, as mild-man­nered a reformer as his predecessor in art, Hucbald. His bitter sarcasms on his brother monks, soon brought a result, and he found him­self though not actually chased from his convent, yet ostracized in it.
But he was well able to sustain such a strife, and continued his work with zeal unabated. His style of teaching sight reading was far in advance of his competitors, for he taught his scholars to sing intervals, not by referring to the monochord, but instead of it to think of some similar interval in any hymn well known to them, thus combining thought, memory and musical ear, in a practical manner.
He was struck with the regularly ascending intervals of the first syllables of each line of the hymn in honor of St. John, and with the inspira­tion of genius attached the syllables ut, r°, mi, fa, sol, la, to the notes, and caused his scholars to memorize each interval, thus forming a new and easily comprehended system of Solfeggio. The hymn which inspired this wonderful stride in music runs.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III