Gail over at Scribal Terror has a nifty post up on the origins of the “Do (Ut), re, mi…” familiar to fans of The Sound of Music and anyone else who’s every sung a scale, and their connection with a Latin hymn to St. John.

I was, truth be told, quite unaware of the appropriation of this hymn by the Benedictine Monk Guido Aretinus for use in his work on systemizing musickal notation, perhaps because the course in medieval musick that I signed up for my senior year of college met at 7 ack emma and I slept through so many sessions that I had to grovel hard just to be allowed to drop it.

No matter.

Here’s an interesting little nugget, tho:  Peter Schickele, posing as P.D.Q. Bach, composed a “Missa Hilarious” that contains a “Credo” which plays on this idea.  It begins, “Credo, credo, credo-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti” and so on, the polyphonic voices simply singing the appropriate, ah, Aretinusian notations throughout the rest of the movement.

Now ol’ Prof. Schickele was, of course, going for the easy laugh with this gimmick.  But since, from my observation, what he doesn’t know about musick isn’t worth knowing, I’m sure he also had Brother Guido in the back of his mind as he was putting this thing together.