It was too big a secret to keep and too great a price to pay.

Though few details are known of 11th-century Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo, he is widely recognized for inventing the language of music. Music’s Guiding Hand offers a fictional account as to how an unlikely friendship between two medieval monks might have inspired one of the most important and enduring innovations of the Western world.

When a fellow monk continually struggles to learn the sacred songs by rote, Brother Guido devises the musical staff as a way of precisely notating pitch. But in an institution that thrives on tradition and routine, his challenge to the status quo is met with skepticism, resistance, and even punishment. Torn between obedience and his convictions, Brother Guido must decide to submit or rebel—with immediate and enduring consequences.

“The reader can almost hear the notes rising off the page.”


By Kingsley Day

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Read the first two chapters here.

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