Children's Book Reviews:
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music,
Thank Guido d’Arezzo
by Susan L. Roth
Houghton Mifflin; January 2007
Imagine a world in which music belonged only in the present tense. It could never be replicated or taught and passed down through the generations. Without the genius and determination of a man named Guido d’Arezzo, this would have been a reality.
Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo is the story of the man who invented the first system for reading music, and in doing so enabled us all to enjoy and replicate any notes we choose.
Take a journey back to the Arezzo, Italy, of one thousand years ago and uncover the fascinating story of Guido d’Arezzo, a young man who enjoyed singing in his local choir but was consumed by his quest to develop a written system for teaching and learning music. His passionate pursuit of this goal alienated him from his neighbors and sent him to the quiet of a Benedictine monastery, where he might work in peace and be met with more open minds. It took a long time, but finally Guido had his epiphany and a system for writing and reading music was born.
Victoria Bond, an American composer and conductor, has been commissioned by the Associazione Culturale Amici del Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele di Arezzo to set Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo to music. Scored for a children’s chorus and soprano soloist and accompanied by the organ, the music is drawn from the actual Gregorian chant first written by Guido d’Arezzo.
On December 16, 2006, Maestro Angelo Mafucci, the artistic director of the Amici del Convitto Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele di Arezzo, will be conducting the premiere of the music in the historic Cathedral d’Arezzo in Arezzo, Italy.
Susan Roth’s captivating torn-paper illustrations bring Guido and his quest to life. Children of all ages will love learning about this little-known beginning to the musical system we all take for granted. Above all, Do Re Mi: If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo sends a powerful message of perseverance through adversity and the importance of following your dreams . . . You could change the world!#