Gamut Definition

The lowest note of the medieval scale, corresponding to modern G below middle C.
Webster's New World
The complete medieval scale.
Webster's New World
The entire series of recognized notes in modern music.
Webster's New World
The entire range or extent, as of emotions.
Webster's New World
Any complete musical scale, esp. the major scale.
Webster's New World

Other Word Forms of Gamut



Origin of Gamut

  • Middle English the musical scale from Medieval Latin gamma ut low G gamma lowest note of the medieval scale (from Greek gamma gamma) ut first note of the lowest hexachord (after ut , first word in a Latin hymn to Saint John the Baptist, the initial syllables of successive lines of which were sung to the notes of an ascending scale CDEFGA: Ut queant laxis resonare fibris Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve polluti labii reatum, Sancte Iohannes)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 1520s, original sense “lowest note of musical scale”, from Medieval Latin gamma ut, from gamma (“(Greek letter, corresponding to the musical note G)”) + ut (“first solfège syllable, now replaced by do”). In modern terms, “G do” – the first note of the G scale. Meaning later extended to mean all the notes of a scale, and then more generally any complete range.

    From Wiktionary

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