About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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Giovanni Doni is known for having changed the name of note “Ut,” renaming it “Do.” He convinced his contemporaries to make the change by arguing that 1) “Do” is easier to pronounce than “Ut,” and 2) “Do” is an abbreviation for “Dominus,” the Latin word for the Lord, Who is the tonic and root of the world. There is much academic speculation that Giovanni Doni also wanted to imprint himself into musical canon in perpetuity because “Do” is also ulteriorly an abbreviation for his family name.
— Giovanni Battista Doni died in 1647AD

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“Mister Eye” • Do You Mind Him?
published 2 January 2019 by Jeff Ostrowski

HE WAY WE PRONOUNCE English in 2019 does not always correspond to how English was pronounced in former centuries. In the days of Shakespeare, the word FLIES rhymed with ENEMIES. Certain types of poetry also tolerate what’s called an “eye rhyme”—when two words look the same but are pronounced differently: Sean+Bean; Cough+Bough; Food+Good; Death+Wreath; Love+Move; and so forth.

Whenever possible—and it was not always possible—the Brébeuf Hymnal avoided rhymes such as this one, found in the Cantate Omnes Hymnal (produced in 1952 by the Church Musicians’ Guild of Buffalo):

85761 Mister Eye


For the record, “call” and “festival” (verse 2) no longer rhyme; although they probably did in the 17th century, when Sir Walter Kirkham Blount wrote this translation for a Roman Catholic Missal. It was not always possible for the Brébeuf Hymnal to avoid such rhymes. Indeed, if you examine its 932 pages, you’ll notice several. However, we tried to avoid any that were especially prominent.

The following example by Father Faber is considered by some to be an eye rhyme, because they claim these two words no longer rhymed in the 19th century:

Most ancient of all mysteries,
Before Thy throne we lie;
Have mercy now, most merciful,
Most holy Trinity.

(Because of this hymn, a young child once asked his mother why it was okay to tell lies when we are before the Throne of God…)

Are you bothered by eye rhymes? Let us know in the combox on the CCW Facebook page.