A Handful of Notes for Guido of Arezzo

Simon Rackham

Seventy one minutes of music for two pianos dedicated to the medieval monk who invented musical notation.

‘A Handful of Notes for Guido of Arezzo’ was composed in late February and early March 2019 for two pianos. One piano has the sustaining pedal held down throughout and plays longer notes while the other piano uses no pedal and only plays very short notes. The piece explores the relationship between these two piano sounds. It is composed using a hexatonic scale (B, C#, D#, F, G, A). Guido of Arezzo, (also known as Guido Monaco) was a medieval Italian Benedictine monk and music theorist thought to be the inventor of musical notation using a stave. Guido also gives his name to the ‘Guidonian hand’, a system to aid singers to learn new music.

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