THE SCHOLA CANTORUM
THE, western empire of Rome reached its inglorious end when Odoacer dethroned Romulus Augustus and proclaimed himself King of Italy in A.D. 476. From this date we reckon the period called the middle ages, which terminated with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The overthrow of Rome completed the ruin of her schools, which had been gradually disintegrating during the continued attacks of the barbarians.
Marcus Aurelius Cassiodorus, a Roman of senatorial rank, father of Boethius, the celebrated writer on music, flourished in the middle years of the sixth century, and about 535 undertook the reorganization of the schools. He raised funds by subscripion and himself wrote the manual of instruction to be used by the teachers. The fifth chapter of this work treated of music and was the basis of the musical study of the time. The treatise is lost, but there can be no doubt that Gregory was acquainted with its doc-