Since the early 17th century, this has come to mean a whole scale, series or range of anything. In The Middle Ages, however, when it was coined, it was strictly a technical term in music. Gamut actually meant the first or lowest note in the medieval scale of music, equivalent to the modern G on the lowest line of the bass stave. Its origin was a contraction of gamma + ut. Gamma is the third letter of the Greek alphabet but in medieval music it also denoted a note lower than A, while ut was the lowest and first note in the series ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si. These precursors of the modern octave, (doh, re, mi, etc) derived from the initial syllables of half-lines from the office hymn for the Nativity of St John the Baptist: Ut queant laxis resonare fibris Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve polluti labii reatum, Sancte Iohannes. Eventually doh replaced ut as the first note in the modern octave. Between The Middle Ages and the 16th century, the meaning of gamut evolved into a term for a whole series or range of musical notes. Only in the early 17th century was this extended to mean a whole series or range of anything.