Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hold my hand, Guido, and teach me to sing

While I was in the Philadelphia library looking at the Poe exhibit I found out that they are digitizing many of their holdings. They have their medieval manuscripts online and available through Columbia University's Digital Scriptorium. Which is pretty great. I had planned to write a post about the rare book collection at the Philadelphia Library, but this image from the Scriptorium hijacked me.



This is a "Guidonian hand with somatization symbols." Guidonian hands, in case you didn't know, diagram a medieval method of learning to site sing. You can read about them here, and there's a lovely short video of someone demonstrating their usefulness below.




But don't you just want to look at them? I love them.



The Granger Collection, NY



The Guido in question is Guido d'Arezzo, pictured here.



This is a parody of a Guidonian hand from this blog.



While I was looking at hand diagrams I came across a glove map of London.



It's from Bioephemera, which looks like a great blog, and from there I went to this wonderful collection of hand images that includes a really great grisly description of the medieval "hand of glory" that should creep you out just in time for Halloween.

Here are some more hand diagrams, just because they're awesome.







5 comments:

Igor XA said...

where did you find that lovely picture of guido? i'm looking for a larger version of it to incorporate into a tattoo, possibly. any ideas?

Sam Simpson said...

Hi Igor-
I got it here:http://www.softmozart.com/Site/Data/Images/guido.gif . You might try poking around softmozart.com- but I'm pretty sure I just googled his name in an image search.

maryc said...

The man in the video is my hero, Bill Mahrt!

Ольга said...

Thank You very much for your post!
I looked for only picture http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=8524&rendTypeId=4
, and find your post!
Why I looked for this picture?
In magazin "Time" of December 31,1999 were publications about innovations in the millenium. In 11th century "Best Musical Innovation" was name d'Arezzo and this picture http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=8524&rendTypeId=4.
Now, I wanted tj place this picture in my post in LJ. And I find Your post. I wont to give link to your post so interesting in my post.
Thank You

Sam Simpson said...

Cool! Thanks for that!