Dark Ages Theory and Notation

Edo Gautso wasn’t as good at memorizing tunes, so he wanted something to remind himself what the types sounded like. He created a four-line clef and thought that if you alternate lines and spaces you can see the spaces between them. After that he decided to name the pitches: Ut, Ra, Me, Fa, So, La. Most of these names are still used today, excpet Ut, which is now called Do. We have an arrangement of notes and distance between notes. Back then everything was in

At this time they didn’t have an octave system, a high G and a low G would be called different names. The hexichords can be used to tell where to put a flat. One note above the hexichord, makes it a half step. If you go from hexichord to a note below it and then back to the hexichord, you produce a half step.

As for Notation, there were two values, long and short. To the best of our knowledge, a long note was half the value of a short note.

Most of the songs of this time were sung in Latin. The range of this music was usually no larger than a 5th, this was because these people were not trained singers, they were ordinary people.

Theorists at this time believed that 4ths and 5ths were the most constant interval. They didn't realize until much later that the 3rd was also constant. The cadence of pieces always went from a 6th to the octave or a 3rd to the unison.

3/4 was the most common time signature used because it represented the church's Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. When they did go into another time signature they went into 2/4, symbolized by using red ink.


Bellman, Joanthan. "September 3rd, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 3 Sep. 2003

Bellman, Joanthan. "September 5th, 2003 Lecture for History of Music." University of Northern Colorado, Studio B, Greeley: 5 Sep. 2003

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