By note = ?


...until I knew by note the story of the African, and the subsequent generational wending of our family through cotton and tobacco plantation into the Civil War and then the freedom.
Could this be a misprint for "by rote"?
Or is music involved in the context somewhere?
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
It is by rote, not by note.
"by rote" - a way of learning, memorizing by repeating again and again, sometimes with the implication that little attention is being paid to the meaning of what is learned