Curiosities of Music - online book

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322                  CURIOSITIES OF MUSIC.
of the inventions credited to Guido. are only adaptations. The Sol-faing system was almost an accidental occurrence; yet only genius can derive full profit from accidents. The hymn which gave rise to it (quoted above), is a most prosaic invocation to St. John to save the throats of the singers from hoarseness, in order that they may fittingly sing his praise. A very diplomatic way of requesting it.
Musical history in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries is at its darkest; hence little is positively known of the life of Guido. It is certain that he was in great favor at Rome, and that other coun­tries applied to him for his musical services to reorganize their ecclesiastical chanting, and also that his health failing, he returned to his monas­tery, forgetting and forgiving the ill treatment he had received there, and in its cloisters peacefully ended his days.
The date of his decease is not known.
Other names appear in this misty epoch in musical history. Franco of Cologne, "Walter Odington, an English Monk, Heeronymus von Maehren, etc., wrote works upon the theory of music, while Adam de la Hale (of A.rras, France) wrote music in four-part harmony, about the year 1280. But in the midst of this darkness there came a glorious sunburst in the shape of chivalric bands who elevated music to a broader sphere by adding to the ecclesiastical chanting a secular school of composition, both warlike and lyrical.

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