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DO RE MI by Susan L. Roth


If You Can Read Music, Thank Guido d’Arezzo

by Susan L. Roth with Angelo Mafucci & illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-618-46572-3
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Roth offers the story of the first written music for young readers. A thousand years ago in Tuscany, a young singer named Guido d’Arezzo gets the bright idea that members of the choir would be able to learn the music better if they were somehow able to see the sounds. His choirmaster pooh-poohs the notion and Guido goes to live with a community of monks in Pomposa, still gripped by his idea. There, a monk named Brother Michael encourages his parchment scribbles, even bringing him back from the brink of despair. When Guido returns to his home city, new bishop Teodaldo puts him in charge of the children’s choir, and he uses his new system to teach them to read music. Hearing of this success, the Pope invites him to Rome, but Guido humbly declines: “I am Guido of Arezzo.” Roth’s ingenious and intricate illustrations, made of papers “from all over the world,” constitute a unique vocabulary themselves. A sublime blend of education and entertainment. (glossary, bibliography) (Picture book. 7-10)