Students assigned at the cathedral are expected to learn via oral transmission. Unlike today, where students now have the ability to take notes and study, students in the Middle Ages needed to acquire new information orally, by word of mouth, by listening and memorizing. Because of this, no remnants of written material prevailed. In this particular example, young students aiming to become monks needed to learn chant after chant after chant, without the use of any notation or system. Instead, these students relied on their sense of hearing, hearing what was transmitted out of the mouth, processing that information into their brain, and storing a day’s work into memory.
Eventually, Guido faced a major issue when working with monks in-training: the capacity to store data is limited. In other words, these students, along with everyone else for that matter, can only learn so much. The brain structures and organizes material acquired throughout the day, but once that limit is reached, the ...
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...ause of this figure named Guido. We owe a significant portion of why we study because of him, and we are indebted to his findings and discoveries that remodeled the definition and standard of music.
At the end of Epistle Concerning an Unknown Chant, Guido discussed deviating off the path of normalcy: “I have departed from his [Abbot Odo] from his example only in the forms of the notes…” Guido recognized “Boethius, whose treaty is useful to philosopher but not to singers” and aimed to fix the problem. Rather than following Abbot Odo or Boethius, Guido decided to work against society’s standards, seeking some other approach with obstacle or reading music and singing pitches. However, by doing so, by working with his ideas, Guido not only manipulated his thoughts and values to help struggling musicians – past, present, and future – with music notation and solmization.
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