Sol`mi*za"tion (?), n. [F. solmisation, fr. solmiser to sol-fa; -- called from the musical notes sol, mi. See Sol-fa.] Mus.

The act of sol-faing.

[Written also solmisation.]

This art was practiced by the Greeks; but six of the seven syllables now in use are generally attributed to Guido d' Arezzo, an Italian monk of the eleventh century, who is said to have taken them from the first syllables of the first six lines of the following stanza of a monkish hymn to St. John the Baptist. --

Ut queant laxis Resonare fibris Mira gestorum Famuli tuorum Solve polluti Labii reatum, Sancte Joannes.

Professor Skeat says the name of the seventh note, si, was also formed by him [Guido] from the initials of the two words of the last line; but this is disputed, Littr'e attributing the first use of it to Anselm of Flanders long afterwards. The syllable do is often substituted for ut.


© Webster 1913.