Do, Re, Mi… but Why?

Ut Queant Laxis - Lue Zavala

We love music. We spent so many hours listening to it. But if you like to feel the greatness of music and its impact in our inner self evolution, we need to understand its roots, its meaning.

I learnt music on my own, based on what my Daddy tought me. He could play any instrument you ask him for.. Strings instruments mainly.

Noe Zavala (1941 – 2019)
Lovely and Awesome Father

One of his greatest advice for me was teaching me the relation between whole tunes and halfi-tunes. He learnt it pretty well and could controlled it so easily…

In my case, I understood how it worked but I always needed a piece of paper and a pen to calculate the equivalence… until I discover Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle – but this needs another post..

In my new autochallege of writting 10 songs before December 2020, I developed a huge curiosity about different terms related to Music: frequencies, tunning, hertz, the effect of music in our personal development, and a lot of stuff I will be linking thanks to this Blog.

So, one of my first discoverings was something I have never thought about before… The notes themselves!!! How this was created? When? Where? How?

So, I started my research… (God bless youtube, netflix, the BBC, wikipedia, internet in general!)

And this is what I found:

The notes as we now them (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si) or in the american system (C, D, E, F, G, A, B), are based in Saint John´s Baptist Hymn: «Ut Queant Laxis«

This hymn was used on June 24 due to John the Baptist Fest, and it is attributed to:

  • Paul the Deacon (720 – 799) – a Benedictine monk, and
  • Guido of Arezzo (991 – 1033) – he was an italian medieval musician who may have written its melody.

Lyrics are:

Ut queant laxis
Resonare fibris
Mira gestorum
Famuli tuorum
Solve polluti
Labii reatum
Sancte Ioannes.

Arezzo used the first syllable of each line, to name the note progression of each sound, identifying and hexachord progression.

Ut , the first syllable, was changed to «Do» in order to have an open sound. Lyrics in English are as follows:

Do let our voices
resonate most purely,
miracles telling,
far greater than many;
so let our tongues be
lavish in your praises,
Saint John the Baptist

Well, now, both you and I know where, when and how the notes, as we know them, come from 😀

This kind of hymns – Gregorian Chants – were used by religious men and women, but we all, at some point of our life, have heard them. Have you noticed the impact of the sound tn the body? How does this vibration impacts in our human vehicle? — This need another chapter….

This is part of my research. My personal research in order to grow and understand.

Have you noticed how you body feels when you are listening to certain kind of music? Pay Attention 😉

Lue Zavala

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