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Solfege

Solfege

Overview
In music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, solfège (sɔl.fɛʒ, also called solfeggio, sol-fa or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note
Note
In music, the term note has two primary meanings:#A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound;#A pitched sound itself....

 of the score is sung to a special syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables commonly used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do (or doh in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

), re, mi, fa, sol (so in tonic sol-fa), la, and ti/si, which may be heard in "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

" from Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium...

's score for The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, as well as the Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell (songwriter)
Robert Maxwell is a harpist and songwriter, who wrote the music for two well-known songs: "Ebb Tide" and "Shangri-La ....

 song "Solfeggio".
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Encyclopedia
In music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, solfège (sɔl.fɛʒ, also called solfeggio, sol-fa or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note
Note
In music, the term note has two primary meanings:#A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound;#A pitched sound itself....

 of the score is sung to a special syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables commonly used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do (or doh in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

), re, mi, fa, sol (so in tonic sol-fa), la, and ti/si, which may be heard in "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

" from Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium...

's score for The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, as well as the Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell (songwriter)
Robert Maxwell is a harpist and songwriter, who wrote the music for two well-known songs: "Ebb Tide" and "Shangri-La ....

 song "Solfeggio". In other languages, si is used (see below) for the seventh scale tone, while its earlier use in English continues in many areas.

There are two methods of applying solfege: fixed do (used in China, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Russia, South America and parts of North America, Japan, and Vietnam) and movable do (used in Britain, Germany, Indian classical music, and the United States).

Etymology


Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 "solfeggio" and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 "solfège" ultimately derive from the names of two of the syllables used: so[l] and fa.
The English equivalent of this expression, "sol-fa", is also used, especially as a verb ("to sol-fa" a passage is to sing it in solfège).

The word "solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

" derives from the Medieval Latin "solmisatio", ultimately from the names of the syllables sol and mi. "Solmization" is often used synonymously with "solfège", but is technically a more generic term,
taking in alternative series of syllables used in other cultures such as India and Japan.

Origin of the solfège syllables


The use of a seven-note diatonic musical scale is ancient, though originally it was played in descending order.

In the eleventh century, the music theorist Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido d'Arezzo was a music theorist of the Medieval era...

 developed a six-note ascending scale that went as follows: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. A seventh note, "si" was added shortly after. The names were taken from the first verse of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis or Hymnus in Ioannem are verses in honour of John the Baptist written in Horatian Sapphics by Paulus Diaconus, the eighth century Lombard historian...

, where the syllables fall on their corresponding scale degree.




Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.



The hymn (The Hymn of St. John) was written by Paulus Diaconus in the 8th century. It translates as:


So that these your servants can, with all their voice, sing your wonderful feats, clean the blemish of our spotted lips, O Saint John!


"Ut" was changed in 1600 in Italy to the open syllable Do, at the suggestion of the musicologue Giovanni Battista Doni,
and Si (from the initials for "Sancte Iohannes") was added to complete the diatonic scale. In Anglo-Saxon
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 countries, "si" was changed to "ti" by Sarah Glover in the nineteenth century so that every syllable might begin with a different letter
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

. "Ti" is used in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

 and in the song "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

".

In the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

, England and its related territories used only four of the syllables: mi, fa, sol, and la. "Mi" stood for modern ti, "fa" for modern do or ut, "sol" for modern re, and "la" for modern mi. Then, fa, sol and la would be repeated to also stand for their modern counterparts, resulting in the scale being fa, sol, la, fa, sol, la, mi, fa. This was eventually eliminated by the 19th century, but it was (and still is in a few rare circumstances) used in the shape note
Shape note
Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools...

 system, which gives each solfège syllable a different shape.

Alternative theories of origin


An alternative theory on the origins of solfège proposes that it may have also had Arabic musical origins. It has been argued that the solfège syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) may have been derived from the syllables of the Arabic solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 system درر مفصّلات Durar Mufaṣṣalāt ("Separated Pearls") (dāl, rā', mīm, fā', ṣād, lām, tā
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

) during the Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe were numerous, affecting such varied areas as art, architecture, medicine, agriculture, music, language, and technology. From the 11th to 13th centuries, Europe absorbed knowledge from the Islamic civilization...

. This origin theory was first proposed by François de Mesgnien Meninski in 1680, and then by J. B. de Laborde in 1780. Guillaume Villoteau 
(Description historique, technique et litteraire des instruments de musique des orientaux in the Description de l'Égypte
Description de l'Egypte
Description de l'Égypte is the title of several books.* Description de l'Égypte - Description de l'Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française Pub; First Edition , L'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1809-1813; l'Imprimerie...

, Paris 1809) appears to endorse this view. However, there is no documentary evidence for this theory.

In all of Hindustani music and Carnatic music
Carnatic music
Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu...

 (two major branches of Indian classical music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

), a form of solfège called swara
Swara
The seven notes of the scale , in Indian music are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad, and are shortened to Sa, Ri or Re , Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni and written S, R, G, M, P, D, N. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam...

 or sargam is the first lesson. In Indian classical music the corresponding sounds of solfege are
sa, re (ri), ga, ma, pa, dha, ni and back to sa. The Sanhita portion of the Samaveda
Samaveda
The Sama veda , is second of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. Its earliest parts are believed to date from 1700 BC and it ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda...

 (Hindu holy verses), that date back to 1300-1000 BCE were later set to music using this technique. This is the earliest known origin of the solfège.

The modern use of solfège


There are two main types of solfège:
  1. Movable do, or solfa, in which each syllable corresponds to a scale degree. This is analogous to the Guidonian practice of giving each degree of the hexachord a solfège name, and is mostly used in Germanic countries.
  2. Fixed do, in which each syllable corresponds to the name of a note. This is analogous to the Romance system naming pitches after the solfège syllables, and is used in Romance and Slavic countries, among others.

Movable do solfège


Movable do is frequently employed in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (with 7th being si), Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and English-speaking Canada (although a few American conservatories use French-style fixed do). In the movable do system, each solfège syllable corresponds not to a pitch, but to a scale degree: The first degree of a major scale is always sung as 'do', the second as 're', etc. (For minor keys, see below.) In movable do, a given tune is therefore always sol-faed on the same syllables, no matter what key it is in.

The solfège syllables used for movable do differ slightly from those used for fixed do, because the English variant of the basic syllables ('ti' instead of 'si') is usually used, and chromatically altered syllables are usually included as well.
Major scale degree Mova. do solfège syllable # of half steps from Do Trad. Pron. Sato Method Sato Pron.
Lowered 1 (-)1, 11 De /dɛː/
1 Do 0 /doʊ/ Do /dɔː/
Raised 1 Di 1 /diː/ Di /diː/
Lowered 2 Ra 1 /ɹɑː/ Ra /rɑː/
2 Re 2 /ɹeɪ/ Re /rɛː/
Raised 2 Ri 3 /ɹiː/ Ri /riː/
Lowered 3 Me (or Ma) 3 /meɪ/ (/mɑː/) Me /mɛː/
3 Mi 4 /miː/ Mi /miː/
Raised 3 5 Ma /mɑː/
Lowered 4 4 Fe /fɛː/
4 Fa 5 /fɑː/ Fa /fɑː/
Raised 4 Fi 6 /fiː/ Fi /fiː/
Lowered 5 Se 6 /seɪ/ Se /sɛː/
5 Sol 7 /soʊ/ So /sɔː/
Raised 5 Si 8 /siː/ Si /siː/
Lowered 6 Le (or Lo) 8 /leɪ/ (/loʊ/) Le /lɛː/
6 La 9 /lɑː/ La /lɑː/
Raised 6 Li 10 /liː/ Li /liː/
Lowered 7 Te (or Ta) 10 /teɪ/ (/tɑː/) Te /tɛː/
7 Ti 11 /tiː/ Ti /tiː/
Raised 7 12 To /tɔː/


If, at a certain point, the key of a piece modulates, then it is necessary to change the solfège syllables at that point. For example, if a piece begins in C major, then C is initially sung on "do", D on "re", etc. If, however, the piece then modulates to G, then G is sung on "Do", A on "re", etc., and C is then sung on "fa".

Passages in a minor key may be sol-faed in one of two ways in movable do: either starting on do (using "me", "le", and "te" for the lowered third, sixth, and seventh degrees which is referred to as "Do-based minor"), and "la" and "ti" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees), or starting on la (using "fi" and "si" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees). The latter (referred to as "la-based minor") is sometimes preferred in choral singing, especially with children.
Natural minor scale degree Movable do solfège syllable (La-based minor) Movable do solfège syllable (Do-based minor)
1 La Do
Raised 1 Li Di
Lowered 2 Te (or Ta) Ra
2 Ti Re
3 Do Me (or Ma)
Raised 3 Di Mi
4 Re Fa
Raised 4 Ri Fi
Lowered 5 Me (or Ma) Se
5 Mi Sol
6 Fa Le (or Lo)
Raised 6 Fi La
7 Sol Te (or Ta)
Raised 7 Si Ti


One particularly important variant of movable do, but differing in some respects from the system here described, was invented in the nineteenth century by John Curwen
John Curwen
Reverend John Curwen was an English Congregationalist minister, and founder of the Tonic sol-fa system of music education. He was educated at Wymondley College and University College London.-Tonic sol-fa:...

, and is known as tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

.

In Italy, in 1972, Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre was an Italian choirmaster, composer and teacher.Upon concluding his academic studies, he dedicated himself to choral conducting and, at the beginning of the 1960s, on an invite by Marcello Abbado, he became the conductor of the choir at the "Giuseppe Nicolini" Conservatoire in...

 wrote the famous method "Cantar leggendo", which has come to be used for choruses and for music for young children.

The pedagogical advantage of the movable-Do system is its ability to assist in the theoretical understanding of music; because a tonic is established and then sung in comparison to, the student infers melodic and chordal implications through his or her singing. Thus, while fixed-Do is more applicable to instrumentalists, movable-Do is more applicable to theorists and, arguably, composers.

Fixed do solfège



In the major Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 and Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 languages, the syllables Do (Ut for the French), Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and
Si are used to name notes the same way that the letters C, D, E, F, G, A, and B are used to name notes in English. For native speakers of these languages, solfège is simply singing the names of the notes, omitting any modifiers such as 'sharp' or 'flat' in order to preserve the rhythm. This system is called fixed do and is used in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries and in French-speaking Canada as well as countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 where non-Romance languages are spoken.
In the fixed do system, shown above, accidentals do not affect the syllables used. For example, C, C, and C (as well as C and C, not shown above) are all sung with the syllable "do".

Sotorrio argues that fixed-Do is preferable for serious musicians, as music involving complex modulations and vague tonality is often too ambiguous with regard to key for any movable system. That is, without a prior analysis of the music, any movable-Do system would inevitably need to be used like a fixed-Do system anyway, thus causing confusion. With fixed-Do, the musician learns to regard any syllable as the tonic, which does not force them to make an analysis as to which note is the tonic when ambiguity occurs. Instead, with fixed-Do the musician will already be practiced in thinking in multiple/undetermined tonalities using the corresponding syllables.

In comparison to the movable do system, which draws on short-term relative pitch
Relative pitch
The term relative pitch may denote:* the distance of a musical note from a set point of reference, e.g. "three octaves above middle C"* a musician's ability to identify the intervals between given tones, regardless of their relation to concert pitch * the skill used by singers to correctly sing a...

 skills involving comparison to a pitch identified as the tonic of the particular piece being performed, fixed do develops long-term relative pitch skills involving comparison to a pitch defined independently of its role in the piece, a practice closer to the definition of each note in absolute terms as found in absolute pitch
Absolute pitch
Absolute pitch , widely referred to as perfect pitch, is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference.-Definition:...

. The question of which system to use is a controversial subject among music educators in schools in the United States. While movable do is easier to teach and learn, some feel that fixed do leads to stronger sight-reading and better ear training
Ear training
Ear training or aural skills is a skill by which musicians learn to identify, solely by hearing, pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, and other basic elements of music. The application of this skill is analogous to taking dictation in written/spoken language. Ear training may be...

 because students learn the relationships between specific pitches as defined independently, rather than only the function of intervals within melodic lines, chords, and chord progressions. Of course, this argument is only valid if the fixed do is used with chromatic solfege syllables.

If a performer has been trained using fixed do, particularly in those rare cases in which the performer has absolute pitch or well-developed long-term relative pitch, the performer may have difficulty playing music scored for transposing instruments: Because the "concert pitch
Concert pitch
Concert pitch refers to the pitch reference to which a group of musical instruments are tuned for a performance. Concert pitch may vary from ensemble to ensemble, and has varied widely over musical history...

" note to be performed differs from the note written in the sheet music, the performer may experience cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying,...

 when having to read one note and play another. Especially in the early stages of learning a piece, when the performer has yet to gain familiarity with the melodic line of the piece as expressed in relative terms, he or she may have to mentally re-transpose the sheet music in order to restore the notes to concert pitch.

Instrumentalists who begin sight-singing for the first time in college as music majors find fixed do to be the system more consistent with the way they learned to read music.

For choirs, sight-singing fixed do using chromatic movable do syllables (see below) is more suitable than sight-singing movable do for reading atonal music, polytonal music, pandiatonic
Pandiatonic
In music, pandiatonicism refers to the technique of using the diatonic scale without the limitations of functional tonality. Pandiatonic music typically uses the notes of the diatonic scale freely in dissonant combinations without conventional resolutions and/or without standard chord...

 music, music that modulates or changes key often, or music in which the composer simply did not bother to write a key signature
Key signature
In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes unless otherwise altered with an accidental...

. It is not uncommon for this to be the case in modern or contemporary choral works.

Chromatic variants of fixed do


Several chromatic Fixed-Do Systems that have also been devised to account for chromatic notes (and even for double-sharp and double-flat variants) are as follows:
Chromatic variants of fixed do
Note name Syllable Pitch class
Pitch class
In music, a pitch class is a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves apart, e.g., the pitch class C consists of the Cs in all octaves...

English Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

Traditional

Hullah
Shearer
Siler
Sotorrio
C Do do duf daw du (pe) 10
C
{{For|the Fumi Yoshinaga manga|Solfege (manga)}}

In music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, solfège (sɔl.fɛʒ, also called solfeggio, sol-fa or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note
Note
In music, the term note has two primary meanings:#A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound;#A pitched sound itself....

 of the score is sung to a special syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables commonly used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do (or doh in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

), re, mi, fa, sol (so in tonic sol-fa), la, and ti/si, which may be heard in "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

" from Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium...

's score for The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, as well as the Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell (songwriter)
Robert Maxwell is a harpist and songwriter, who wrote the music for two well-known songs: "Ebb Tide" and "Shangri-La ....

 song "Solfeggio". In other languages, si is used (see below) for the seventh scale tone, while its earlier use in English continues in many areas.

There are two methods of applying solfege: fixed do (used in China, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Russia, South America and parts of North America, Japan, and Vietnam) and movable do (used in Britain, Germany, Indian classical music, and the United States).

Etymology


Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 "solfeggio" and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 "solfège" ultimately derive from the names of two of the syllables used: so[l] and fa.
The English equivalent of this expression, "sol-fa", is also used, especially as a verb ("to sol-fa" a passage is to sing it in solfège).

The word "solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

" derives from the Medieval Latin "solmisatio", ultimately from the names of the syllables sol and mi. "Solmization" is often used synonymously with "solfège", but is technically a more generic term,
taking in alternative series of syllables used in other cultures such as India and Japan.

Origin of the solfège syllables


The use of a seven-note diatonic musical scale is ancient, though originally it was played in descending order.

In the eleventh century, the music theorist Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido d'Arezzo was a music theorist of the Medieval era...

 developed a six-note ascending scale that went as follows: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. A seventh note, "si" was added shortly after. The names were taken from the first verse of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis or Hymnus in Ioannem are verses in honour of John the Baptist written in Horatian Sapphics by Paulus Diaconus, the eighth century Lombard historian...

, where the syllables fall on their corresponding scale degree.




Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.



The hymn (The Hymn of St. John) was written by Paulus Diaconus in the 8th century. It translates as:


So that these your servants can, with all their voice, sing your wonderful feats, clean the blemish of our spotted lips, O Saint John!


"Ut" was changed in 1600 in Italy to the open syllable Do, at the suggestion of the musicologue Giovanni Battista Doni,
and Si (from the initials for "Sancte Iohannes") was added to complete the diatonic scale. In Anglo-Saxon
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 countries, "si" was changed to "ti" by Sarah Glover in the nineteenth century so that every syllable might begin with a different letter
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

. "Ti" is used in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

 and in the song "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

".

In the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

, England and its related territories used only four of the syllables: mi, fa, sol, and la. "Mi" stood for modern ti, "fa" for modern do or ut, "sol" for modern re, and "la" for modern mi. Then, fa, sol and la would be repeated to also stand for their modern counterparts, resulting in the scale being fa, sol, la, fa, sol, la, mi, fa. This was eventually eliminated by the 19th century, but it was (and still is in a few rare circumstances) used in the shape note
Shape note
Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools...

 system, which gives each solfège syllable a different shape.

Alternative theories of origin


An alternative theory on the origins of solfège proposes that it may have also had Arabic musical origins. It has been argued that the solfège syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) may have been derived from the syllables of the Arabic solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 system درر مفصّلات Durar Mufaṣṣalāt ("Separated Pearls") (dāl, rā', mīm, fā', ṣād, lām, tā
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

) during the Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe were numerous, affecting such varied areas as art, architecture, medicine, agriculture, music, language, and technology. From the 11th to 13th centuries, Europe absorbed knowledge from the Islamic civilization...

. This origin theory was first proposed by François de Mesgnien Meninski in 1680, and then by J. B. de Laborde in 1780. Guillaume Villoteau 
(Description historique, technique et litteraire des instruments de musique des orientaux in the Description de l'Égypte
Description de l'Egypte
Description de l'Égypte is the title of several books.* Description de l'Égypte - Description de l'Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française Pub; First Edition , L'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1809-1813; l'Imprimerie...

, Paris 1809) appears to endorse this view.{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}} However, there is no documentary evidence for this theory.

In all of Hindustani music and Carnatic music
Carnatic music
Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu...

 (two major branches of Indian classical music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

), a form of solfège called swara
Swara
The seven notes of the scale , in Indian music are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad, and are shortened to Sa, Ri or Re , Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni and written S, R, G, M, P, D, N. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam...

 or sargam is the first lesson. In Indian classical music the corresponding sounds of solfege are
sa, re (ri), ga, ma, pa, dha, ni and back to sa. The Sanhita portion of the Samaveda
Samaveda
The Sama veda , is second of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. Its earliest parts are believed to date from 1700 BC and it ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda...

 (Hindu holy verses), that date back to 1300-1000 BCE{{dubious|date=September 2010|reason=there are no written records from such an early period there}} were later set to music using this technique. This is the earliest known origin of the solfège.{{fact|date=September 2010|reason=it is unclear that this is related to the subject of this article}}

The modern use of solfège


There are two main types of solfège:
  1. Movable do, or solfa, in which each syllable corresponds to a scale degree. This is analogous to the Guidonian practice of giving each degree of the hexachord a solfège name, and is mostly used in Germanic countries.
  2. Fixed do, in which each syllable corresponds to the name of a note. This is analogous to the Romance system naming pitches after the solfège syllables, and is used in Romance and Slavic countries, among others.

Movable do solfège


Movable do is frequently employed in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (with 7th being si), Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and English-speaking Canada (although a few American conservatories use French-style fixed do). In the movable do system, each solfège syllable corresponds not to a pitch, but to a scale degree: The first degree of a major scale is always sung as 'do', the second as 're', etc. (For minor keys, see below.) In movable do, a given tune is therefore always sol-faed on the same syllables, no matter what key it is in.

The solfège syllables used for movable do differ slightly from those used for fixed do, because the English variant of the basic syllables ('ti' instead of 'si') is usually used, and chromatically altered syllables are usually included as well.
Major scale degree Mova. do solfège syllable # of half steps from Do Trad. Pron. Sato Method Sato Pron.
Lowered 1 (-)1, 11 De /dɛː/
1 Do 0 /doʊ/ Do /dɔː/
Raised 1 Di 1 /diː/ Di /diː/
Lowered 2 Ra 1 /ɹɑː/ Ra /rɑː/
2 Re 2 /ɹeɪ/ Re /rɛː/
Raised 2 Ri 3 /ɹiː/ Ri /riː/
Lowered 3 Me (or Ma) 3 /meɪ/ (/mɑː/) Me /mɛː/
3 Mi 4 /miː/ Mi /miː/
Raised 3 5 Ma /mɑː/
Lowered 4 4 Fe /fɛː/
4 Fa 5 /fɑː/ Fa /fɑː/
Raised 4 Fi 6 /fiː/ Fi /fiː/
Lowered 5 Se 6 /seɪ/ Se /sɛː/
5 Sol 7 /soʊ/ So /sɔː/
Raised 5 Si 8 /siː/ Si /siː/
Lowered 6 Le (or Lo) 8 /leɪ/ (/loʊ/) Le /lɛː/
6 La 9 /lɑː/ La /lɑː/
Raised 6 Li 10 /liː/ Li /liː/
Lowered 7 Te (or Ta) 10 /teɪ/ (/tɑː/) Te /tɛː/
7 Ti 11 /tiː/ Ti /tiː/
Raised 7 12 To /tɔː/


If, at a certain point, the key of a piece modulates, then it is necessary to change the solfège syllables at that point. For example, if a piece begins in C major, then C is initially sung on "do", D on "re", etc. If, however, the piece then modulates to G, then G is sung on "Do", A on "re", etc., and C is then sung on "fa".

Passages in a minor key may be sol-faed in one of two ways in movable do: either starting on do (using "me", "le", and "te" for the lowered third, sixth, and seventh degrees which is referred to as "Do-based minor"), and "la" and "ti" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees), or starting on la (using "fi" and "si" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees). The latter (referred to as "la-based minor") is sometimes preferred in choral singing, especially with children.
Natural minor scale degree Movable do solfège syllable (La-based minor) Movable do solfège syllable (Do-based minor)
1 La Do
Raised 1 Li Di
Lowered 2 Te (or Ta) Ra
2 Ti Re
3 Do Me (or Ma)
Raised 3 Di Mi
4 Re Fa
Raised 4 Ri Fi
Lowered 5 Me (or Ma) Se
5 Mi Sol
6 Fa Le (or Lo)
Raised 6 Fi La
7 Sol Te (or Ta)
Raised 7 Si Ti


One particularly important variant of movable do, but differing in some respects from the system here described, was invented in the nineteenth century by John Curwen
John Curwen
Reverend John Curwen was an English Congregationalist minister, and founder of the Tonic sol-fa system of music education. He was educated at Wymondley College and University College London.-Tonic sol-fa:...

, and is known as tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

.

In Italy, in 1972, Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre was an Italian choirmaster, composer and teacher.Upon concluding his academic studies, he dedicated himself to choral conducting and, at the beginning of the 1960s, on an invite by Marcello Abbado, he became the conductor of the choir at the "Giuseppe Nicolini" Conservatoire in...

 wrote the famous method "Cantar leggendo", which has come to be used for choruses and for music for young children.

The pedagogical advantage of the movable-Do system is its ability to assist in the theoretical understanding of music; because a tonic is established and then sung in comparison to, the student infers melodic and chordal implications through his or her singing. Thus, while fixed-Do is more applicable to instrumentalists, movable-Do is more applicable to theorists and, arguably, composers.

Fixed do solfège



In the major Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 and Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 languages, the syllables Do (Ut for the French), Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and
Si are used to name notes the same way that the letters C, D, E, F, G, A, and B are used to name notes in English. For native speakers of these languages, solfège is simply singing the names of the notes, omitting any modifiers such as 'sharp' or 'flat' in order to preserve the rhythm. This system is called fixed do and is used in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries and in French-speaking Canada as well as countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 where non-Romance languages are spoken.

{{Traditional fixed do}}

In the fixed do system, shown above, accidentals do not affect the syllables used. For example, C, C{{music|sharp}}, and C{{music|flat}} (as well as {{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} and {{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}}, not shown above) are all sung with the syllable "do".

Sotorrio argues that fixed-Do is preferable for serious musicians, as music involving complex modulations and vague tonality is often too ambiguous with regard to key for any movable system. That is, without a prior analysis of the music, any movable-Do system would inevitably need to be used like a fixed-Do system anyway, thus causing confusion. With fixed-Do, the musician learns to regard any syllable as the tonic, which does not force them to make an analysis as to which note is the tonic when ambiguity occurs. Instead, with fixed-Do the musician will already be practiced in thinking in multiple/undetermined tonalities using the corresponding syllables.

In comparison to the movable do system, which draws on short-term relative pitch
Relative pitch
The term relative pitch may denote:* the distance of a musical note from a set point of reference, e.g. "three octaves above middle C"* a musician's ability to identify the intervals between given tones, regardless of their relation to concert pitch * the skill used by singers to correctly sing a...

 skills involving comparison to a pitch identified as the tonic of the particular piece being performed, fixed do develops long-term relative pitch skills involving comparison to a pitch defined independently of its role in the piece, a practice closer to the definition of each note in absolute terms as found in absolute pitch
Absolute pitch
Absolute pitch , widely referred to as perfect pitch, is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference.-Definition:...

. The question of which system to use is a controversial subject among music educators in schools in the United States. While movable do is easier to teach and learn, some feel that fixed do leads to stronger sight-reading and better ear training
Ear training
Ear training or aural skills is a skill by which musicians learn to identify, solely by hearing, pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, and other basic elements of music. The application of this skill is analogous to taking dictation in written/spoken language. Ear training may be...

 because students learn the relationships between specific pitches as defined independently, rather than only the function of intervals within melodic lines, chords, and chord progressions. Of course, this argument is only valid if the fixed do is used with chromatic solfege syllables.

If a performer has been trained using fixed do, particularly in those rare cases in which the performer has absolute pitch or well-developed long-term relative pitch, the performer may have difficulty playing music scored for transposing instruments: Because the "concert pitch
Concert pitch
Concert pitch refers to the pitch reference to which a group of musical instruments are tuned for a performance. Concert pitch may vary from ensemble to ensemble, and has varied widely over musical history...

" note to be performed differs from the note written in the sheet music, the performer may experience cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying,...

 when having to read one note and play another. Especially in the early stages of learning a piece, when the performer has yet to gain familiarity with the melodic line of the piece as expressed in relative terms, he or she may have to mentally re-transpose the sheet music in order to restore the notes to concert pitch.

Instrumentalists who begin sight-singing for the first time in college as music majors find fixed do to be the system more consistent with the way they learned to read music.

For choirs, sight-singing fixed do using chromatic movable do syllables (see below) is more suitable than sight-singing movable do for reading atonal music, polytonal music, pandiatonic
Pandiatonic
In music, pandiatonicism refers to the technique of using the diatonic scale without the limitations of functional tonality. Pandiatonic music typically uses the notes of the diatonic scale freely in dissonant combinations without conventional resolutions and/or without standard chord...

 music, music that modulates or changes key often, or music in which the composer simply did not bother to write a key signature
Key signature
In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes unless otherwise altered with an accidental...

. It is not uncommon for this to be the case in modern or contemporary choral works.

Chromatic variants of fixed do


Several chromatic Fixed-Do Systems that have also been devised to account for chromatic notes (and even for double-sharp and double-flat variants) are as follows:
Chromatic variants of fixed do
Note name Syllable Pitch class
Pitch class
In music, a pitch class is a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves apart, e.g., the pitch class C consists of the Cs in all octaves...

English Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

Traditional
{{nowrap|5 sharps /}} {{nowrap|5 flats}}
Hullah
Shearer
Siler
Sotorrio
{{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Do{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} do duf daw du (pe) 10
C
{{For|the Fumi Yoshinaga manga|Solfege (manga)}}

In music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, solfège (sɔl.fɛʒ, also called solfeggio, sol-fa or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note
Note
In music, the term note has two primary meanings:#A sign used in musical notation to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound;#A pitched sound itself....

 of the score is sung to a special syllable
Syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...

, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables commonly used for this practice in English-speaking countries are: do (or doh in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

), re, mi, fa, sol (so in tonic sol-fa), la, and ti/si, which may be heard in "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

" from Rodgers and Hammerstein
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II were a well-known American songwriting duo, usually referred to as Rodgers and Hammerstein. They created a string of popular Broadway musicals in the 1940s and 1950s during what is considered the golden age of the medium...

's score for The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music is a musical by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and a book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers...

, as well as the Robert Maxwell
Robert Maxwell (songwriter)
Robert Maxwell is a harpist and songwriter, who wrote the music for two well-known songs: "Ebb Tide" and "Shangri-La ....

 song "Solfeggio". In other languages, si is used (see below) for the seventh scale tone, while its earlier use in English continues in many areas.

There are two methods of applying solfege: fixed do (used in China, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Russia, South America and parts of North America, Japan, and Vietnam) and movable do (used in Britain, Germany, Indian classical music, and the United States).

Etymology


Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

 "solfeggio" and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 "solfège" ultimately derive from the names of two of the syllables used: so[l] and fa.
The English equivalent of this expression, "sol-fa", is also used, especially as a verb ("to sol-fa" a passage is to sing it in solfège).

The word "solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

" derives from the Medieval Latin "solmisatio", ultimately from the names of the syllables sol and mi. "Solmization" is often used synonymously with "solfège", but is technically a more generic term,
taking in alternative series of syllables used in other cultures such as India and Japan.

Origin of the solfège syllables


The use of a seven-note diatonic musical scale is ancient, though originally it was played in descending order.

In the eleventh century, the music theorist Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo
Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido d'Arezzo was a music theorist of the Medieval era...

 developed a six-note ascending scale that went as follows: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. A seventh note, "si" was added shortly after. The names were taken from the first verse of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis
Ut queant laxis or Hymnus in Ioannem are verses in honour of John the Baptist written in Horatian Sapphics by Paulus Diaconus, the eighth century Lombard historian...

, where the syllables fall on their corresponding scale degree.




Ut queant laxis resonāre fibris
Mira gestorum famuli tuorum,
Solve polluti labii reatum,
Sancte Iohannes.



The hymn (The Hymn of St. John) was written by Paulus Diaconus in the 8th century. It translates as:


So that these your servants can, with all their voice, sing your wonderful feats, clean the blemish of our spotted lips, O Saint John!


"Ut" was changed in 1600 in Italy to the open syllable Do, at the suggestion of the musicologue Giovanni Battista Doni,
and Si (from the initials for "Sancte Iohannes") was added to complete the diatonic scale. In Anglo-Saxon
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 countries, "si" was changed to "ti" by Sarah Glover in the nineteenth century so that every syllable might begin with a different letter
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

. "Ti" is used in tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

 and in the song "Do-Re-Mi
Do-Re-Mi
"Do-Re-Mi" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. Within the story, it is used by Maria to teach the notes of the major musical scale to the Von Trapp children who learn to sing for the first time, even though their father has disallowed frivolity after...

".

In the Elizabethan era
Elizabethan era
The Elizabethan era was the epoch in English history of Queen Elizabeth I's reign . Historians often depict it as the golden age in English history...

, England and its related territories used only four of the syllables: mi, fa, sol, and la. "Mi" stood for modern ti, "fa" for modern do or ut, "sol" for modern re, and "la" for modern mi. Then, fa, sol and la would be repeated to also stand for their modern counterparts, resulting in the scale being fa, sol, la, fa, sol, la, mi, fa. This was eventually eliminated by the 19th century, but it was (and still is in a few rare circumstances) used in the shape note
Shape note
Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools...

 system, which gives each solfège syllable a different shape.

Alternative theories of origin


An alternative theory on the origins of solfège proposes that it may have also had Arabic musical origins. It has been argued that the solfège syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti) may have been derived from the syllables of the Arabic solmization
Solmization
Solmization is a system of attributing a distinct syllable to each note in a musical scale. Various forms of solmization are in use and have been used throughout the world.In Europe and North America, solfège is the convention used most often...

 system درر مفصّلات Durar Mufaṣṣalāt ("Separated Pearls") (dāl, rā', mīm, fā', ṣād, lām, tā
Arabic alphabet
The Arabic alphabet or Arabic abjad is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing the Arabic language. It is written from right to left, in a cursive style, and includes 28 letters. Because letters usually stand for consonants, it is classified as an abjad.-Consonants:The Arabic alphabet has...

) during the Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe
Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe were numerous, affecting such varied areas as art, architecture, medicine, agriculture, music, language, and technology. From the 11th to 13th centuries, Europe absorbed knowledge from the Islamic civilization...

. This origin theory was first proposed by François de Mesgnien Meninski in 1680, and then by J. B. de Laborde in 1780. Guillaume Villoteau 
(Description historique, technique et litteraire des instruments de musique des orientaux in the Description de l'Égypte
Description de l'Egypte
Description de l'Égypte is the title of several books.* Description de l'Égypte - Description de l'Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l'expédition de l'armée française Pub; First Edition , L'Imprimerie Imperiale, 1809-1813; l'Imprimerie...

, Paris 1809) appears to endorse this view.{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}} However, there is no documentary evidence for this theory.

In all of Hindustani music and Carnatic music
Carnatic music
Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu...

 (two major branches of Indian classical music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

), a form of solfège called swara
Swara
The seven notes of the scale , in Indian music are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad, and are shortened to Sa, Ri or Re , Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni and written S, R, G, M, P, D, N. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam...

 or sargam is the first lesson. In Indian classical music the corresponding sounds of solfege are
sa, re (ri), ga, ma, pa, dha, ni and back to sa. The Sanhita portion of the Samaveda
Samaveda
The Sama veda , is second of the four Vedas, the ancient core Hindu scriptures. Its earliest parts are believed to date from 1700 BC and it ranks next in sanctity and liturgical importance to the Rigveda...

 (Hindu holy verses), that date back to 1300-1000 BCE{{dubious|date=September 2010|reason=there are no written records from such an early period there}} were later set to music using this technique. This is the earliest known origin of the solfège.{{fact|date=September 2010|reason=it is unclear that this is related to the subject of this article}}

The modern use of solfège


There are two main types of solfège:
  1. Movable do, or solfa, in which each syllable corresponds to a scale degree. This is analogous to the Guidonian practice of giving each degree of the hexachord a solfège name, and is mostly used in Germanic countries.
  2. Fixed do, in which each syllable corresponds to the name of a note. This is analogous to the Romance system naming pitches after the solfège syllables, and is used in Romance and Slavic countries, among others.

Movable do solfège


Movable do is frequently employed in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 (with 7th being si), Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and English-speaking Canada (although a few American conservatories use French-style fixed do). In the movable do system, each solfège syllable corresponds not to a pitch, but to a scale degree: The first degree of a major scale is always sung as 'do', the second as 're', etc. (For minor keys, see below.) In movable do, a given tune is therefore always sol-faed on the same syllables, no matter what key it is in.

The solfège syllables used for movable do differ slightly from those used for fixed do, because the English variant of the basic syllables ('ti' instead of 'si') is usually used, and chromatically altered syllables are usually included as well.
Major scale degree Mova. do solfège syllable # of half steps from Do Trad. Pron. Sato Method Sato Pron.
Lowered 1 (-)1, 11 De /dɛː/
1 Do 0 /doʊ/ Do /dɔː/
Raised 1 Di 1 /diː/ Di /diː/
Lowered 2 Ra 1 /ɹɑː/ Ra /rɑː/
2 Re 2 /ɹeɪ/ Re /rɛː/
Raised 2 Ri 3 /ɹiː/ Ri /riː/
Lowered 3 Me (or Ma) 3 /meɪ/ (/mɑː/) Me /mɛː/
3 Mi 4 /miː/ Mi /miː/
Raised 3 5 Ma /mɑː/
Lowered 4 4 Fe /fɛː/
4 Fa 5 /fɑː/ Fa /fɑː/
Raised 4 Fi 6 /fiː/ Fi /fiː/
Lowered 5 Se 6 /seɪ/ Se /sɛː/
5 Sol 7 /soʊ/ So /sɔː/
Raised 5 Si 8 /siː/ Si /siː/
Lowered 6 Le (or Lo) 8 /leɪ/ (/loʊ/) Le /lɛː/
6 La 9 /lɑː/ La /lɑː/
Raised 6 Li 10 /liː/ Li /liː/
Lowered 7 Te (or Ta) 10 /teɪ/ (/tɑː/) Te /tɛː/
7 Ti 11 /tiː/ Ti /tiː/
Raised 7 12 To /tɔː/


If, at a certain point, the key of a piece modulates, then it is necessary to change the solfège syllables at that point. For example, if a piece begins in C major, then C is initially sung on "do", D on "re", etc. If, however, the piece then modulates to G, then G is sung on "Do", A on "re", etc., and C is then sung on "fa".

Passages in a minor key may be sol-faed in one of two ways in movable do: either starting on do (using "me", "le", and "te" for the lowered third, sixth, and seventh degrees which is referred to as "Do-based minor"), and "la" and "ti" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees), or starting on la (using "fi" and "si" for the raised sixth and seventh degrees). The latter (referred to as "la-based minor") is sometimes preferred in choral singing, especially with children.
Natural minor scale degree Movable do solfège syllable (La-based minor) Movable do solfège syllable (Do-based minor)
1 La Do
Raised 1 Li Di
Lowered 2 Te (or Ta) Ra
2 Ti Re
3 Do Me (or Ma)
Raised 3 Di Mi
4 Re Fa
Raised 4 Ri Fi
Lowered 5 Me (or Ma) Se
5 Mi Sol
6 Fa Le (or Lo)
Raised 6 Fi La
7 Sol Te (or Ta)
Raised 7 Si Ti


One particularly important variant of movable do, but differing in some respects from the system here described, was invented in the nineteenth century by John Curwen
John Curwen
Reverend John Curwen was an English Congregationalist minister, and founder of the Tonic sol-fa system of music education. He was educated at Wymondley College and University College London.-Tonic sol-fa:...

, and is known as tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa
Tonic sol-fa is a pedagogical technique for teaching sight-singing, invented by Sarah Ann Glover of Norwich, England and popularised by John Curwen who adapted it from a number of earlier musical systems...

.

In Italy, in 1972, Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre
Roberto Goitre was an Italian choirmaster, composer and teacher.Upon concluding his academic studies, he dedicated himself to choral conducting and, at the beginning of the 1960s, on an invite by Marcello Abbado, he became the conductor of the choir at the "Giuseppe Nicolini" Conservatoire in...

 wrote the famous method "Cantar leggendo", which has come to be used for choruses and for music for young children.

The pedagogical advantage of the movable-Do system is its ability to assist in the theoretical understanding of music; because a tonic is established and then sung in comparison to, the student infers melodic and chordal implications through his or her singing. Thus, while fixed-Do is more applicable to instrumentalists, movable-Do is more applicable to theorists and, arguably, composers.

Fixed do solfège



In the major Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 and Slavic
Slavic languages
The Slavic languages , a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia.-Branches:Scholars traditionally divide Slavic...

 languages, the syllables Do (Ut for the French), Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, and
Si are used to name notes the same way that the letters C, D, E, F, G, A, and B are used to name notes in English. For native speakers of these languages, solfège is simply singing the names of the notes, omitting any modifiers such as 'sharp' or 'flat' in order to preserve the rhythm. This system is called fixed do and is used in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n countries and in French-speaking Canada as well as countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

, and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 where non-Romance languages are spoken.

{{Traditional fixed do}}

In the fixed do system, shown above, accidentals do not affect the syllables used. For example, C, C{{music|sharp}}, and C{{music|flat}} (as well as {{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} and {{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}}, not shown above) are all sung with the syllable "do".

Sotorrio argues that fixed-Do is preferable for serious musicians, as music involving complex modulations and vague tonality is often too ambiguous with regard to key for any movable system. That is, without a prior analysis of the music, any movable-Do system would inevitably need to be used like a fixed-Do system anyway, thus causing confusion. With fixed-Do, the musician learns to regard any syllable as the tonic, which does not force them to make an analysis as to which note is the tonic when ambiguity occurs. Instead, with fixed-Do the musician will already be practiced in thinking in multiple/undetermined tonalities using the corresponding syllables.

In comparison to the movable do system, which draws on short-term relative pitch
Relative pitch
The term relative pitch may denote:* the distance of a musical note from a set point of reference, e.g. "three octaves above middle C"* a musician's ability to identify the intervals between given tones, regardless of their relation to concert pitch * the skill used by singers to correctly sing a...

 skills involving comparison to a pitch identified as the tonic of the particular piece being performed, fixed do develops long-term relative pitch skills involving comparison to a pitch defined independently of its role in the piece, a practice closer to the definition of each note in absolute terms as found in absolute pitch
Absolute pitch
Absolute pitch , widely referred to as perfect pitch, is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of an external reference.-Definition:...

. The question of which system to use is a controversial subject among music educators in schools in the United States. While movable do is easier to teach and learn, some feel that fixed do leads to stronger sight-reading and better ear training
Ear training
Ear training or aural skills is a skill by which musicians learn to identify, solely by hearing, pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, and other basic elements of music. The application of this skill is analogous to taking dictation in written/spoken language. Ear training may be...

 because students learn the relationships between specific pitches as defined independently, rather than only the function of intervals within melodic lines, chords, and chord progressions. Of course, this argument is only valid if the fixed do is used with chromatic solfege syllables.

If a performer has been trained using fixed do, particularly in those rare cases in which the performer has absolute pitch or well-developed long-term relative pitch, the performer may have difficulty playing music scored for transposing instruments: Because the "concert pitch
Concert pitch
Concert pitch refers to the pitch reference to which a group of musical instruments are tuned for a performance. Concert pitch may vary from ensemble to ensemble, and has varied widely over musical history...

" note to be performed differs from the note written in the sheet music, the performer may experience cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying,...

 when having to read one note and play another. Especially in the early stages of learning a piece, when the performer has yet to gain familiarity with the melodic line of the piece as expressed in relative terms, he or she may have to mentally re-transpose the sheet music in order to restore the notes to concert pitch.

Instrumentalists who begin sight-singing for the first time in college as music majors find fixed do to be the system more consistent with the way they learned to read music.

For choirs, sight-singing fixed do using chromatic movable do syllables (see below) is more suitable than sight-singing movable do for reading atonal music, polytonal music, pandiatonic
Pandiatonic
In music, pandiatonicism refers to the technique of using the diatonic scale without the limitations of functional tonality. Pandiatonic music typically uses the notes of the diatonic scale freely in dissonant combinations without conventional resolutions and/or without standard chord...

 music, music that modulates or changes key often, or music in which the composer simply did not bother to write a key signature
Key signature
In musical notation, a key signature is a series of sharp or flat symbols placed on the staff, designating notes that are to be consistently played one semitone higher or lower than the equivalent natural notes unless otherwise altered with an accidental...

. It is not uncommon for this to be the case in modern or contemporary choral works.

Chromatic variants of fixed do


Several chromatic Fixed-Do Systems that have also been devised to account for chromatic notes (and even for double-sharp and double-flat variants) are as follows:
Chromatic variants of fixed do
Note name Syllable Pitch class
Pitch class
In music, a pitch class is a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves apart, e.g., the pitch class C consists of the Cs in all octaves...

English Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

Traditional
{{nowrap|5 sharps /}} {{nowrap|5 flats}}
Hullah
Shearer
Siler
Sotorrio
{{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Do{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} do duf daw du (pe) 10
C{{music Do{{music|flat}} du de do (tsi) 11
C
C (musical note)
C or Do is the first note of the fixed-Do solfège scale. Its enharmonic is B.-Middle C:Middle C is designated C4 in scientific pitch notation because of the note's position as the fourth C key on a standard 88-key piano keyboard...

Do do do do da do 0
C{{music Do{{music|sharp}} di da di de ga 1
{{nowrap begin}}C{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Do{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} das dai di (re) 2
{{nowrap begin}}D{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Re{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} re raf raw ru (do) 0
D{{music Re{{music|flat}} ra ra ra ro ga 1
D
D (musical note)
D is a musical note a whole tone above C, and is known as Re within the solfege system.When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of middle D is approximately 293.665 Hz. See pitch for a discussion of historical variations in...

Re re re re ra Re 2
D{{music Re{{music|sharp}} ri ri ri re nu 3
{{nowrap begin}}D{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Re{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} ris rai ri (mi) 4
{{nowrap begin}}E{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Mi{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} mi mef maw mu (re) 2
E{{music Mi{{music|flat}} me me me mo nu 3
E
E (musical note)
E or mi is the third note of the solfège.When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle E is approximately 329.628 Hz. See pitch for a discussion of historical variations in frequency.-Designation by octave:...

Mi mi mi mi ma mi 4
E{{music Mi{{music|sharp}} mis mai me (fa) 5
{{nowrap begin}}E{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Mi{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} mish mi (jur) 6
{{nowrap begin}}F{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Fa{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} fa fof faw fu (nu) 3
F{{music Fa{{music|flat}} fo fe fo (mi) 4
F
F (musical note)
F is a musical note, the fourth above C. It is also known as fa in fixed-do solfège.When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle F is approximately 349.228 Hz. See pitch for a discussion of historical variations in...

Fa fa fa fa fa Fa 5
F{{music Fa{{music|sharp}} fi fe fi fe jur 6
{{nowrap begin}}F{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Fa{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} fes fai fi (sol) 7
{{nowrap begin}}G{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Sol{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} sol sulf saw su (fa) 5
G{{music Sol{{music|flat}} se sul se so jur 6
G
G (musical note)
Sol, So, or G is the fifth note of the solfège starting on C. As such it is the dominant, a perfect fifth above C.When calculated in equal temperament with a reference of A above middle C as 440 Hz, the frequency of Middle G note is approximately 391.995 Hz...

Sol sol sol so sa sol 7
G{{music Sol{{music|sharp}} si sal si se ki 8
{{nowrap begin}}G{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Sol{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} sals sai si (la) 9
{{nowrap begin}}A{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}La{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} la lof law lu (sol) 7
A{{music La{{music|flat}} le lo le lo ki 8
A
A (musical note)
La or A is the sixth note of the solfège. "A" is generally used as a standard for tuning. When the orchestra tunes, the oboe plays an "A" and the rest of the instruments tune to match that pitch. Every string instrument in the orchestra has an A string, from which each player can tune the rest of...

La la la la la la 9
A{{music La{{music|sharp}} li le li le pe 10
{{nowrap begin}}A{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}La{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} les lai li (tsi) 11
{{nowrap begin}}B{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Si{{music|doubleflat}}{{nowrap end}} si sef taw tu (la) 9
B{{music Si{{music|flat}} te se te to pe 10
B
B (musical note)
B, also known as H, Si or Ti, is the seventh note of the solfège. It lies a chromatic semitone below C and is thus the enharmonic equivalent of C-flat....

Si ti si ti ta tsi 11
B{{music Si{{music|sharp}} sis tai te (do) 0
{{nowrap begin}}B{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} {{nowrap begin}}Si{{music|doublesharp}}{{nowrap end}} sish ti (ga) 1
A dash ("–") means that the source(s) did not specify a syllable.

Use of solfège syllables as Note names


In the countries with fixed-do, these seven syllables (with Si instead of Ti) are used to name the notes of the C-Major scale, instead of the letters C, D, E, F, G, A and B. (For example, they would say, "Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, is the final complete symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire, and has been adapted for use as the European Anthem...

 is in Re minor, but its third movement is in Si-bemol major.") In Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 countries, the letters are used for this purpose, and the solfège syllables are encountered only for their use in sight-singing and ear training. (They would say, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony is in "d-Moll" (D minor).)

See also

  • Ear training
    Ear training
    Ear training or aural skills is a skill by which musicians learn to identify, solely by hearing, pitches, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms, and other basic elements of music. The application of this skill is analogous to taking dictation in written/spoken language. Ear training may be...

  • Hexachord
    Hexachord
    In music, a hexachord is a collection of six pitch classes including six-note segments of a scale or tone row. The term was adopted in the Middle Ages and adapted in the twentieth-century in Milton Babbitt's serial theory.-Middle Ages:...

  • Kodály Method
    Kodály Method
    The Kodály Method, also referred to as the Kodály Concept, is an approach to music education developed in Hungary during the mid-twentieth century by Zoltán Kodály...

  • Solmisation, describing similar systems in other cultures
  • Solresol
    Solresol
    Solresol is an artificial language devised by François Sudre, beginning in 1827. He published his major book on it, Langue musicale universelle, in 1866, though he had already been publicizing it for some years...

    , a constructed language
    Constructed language
    A planned or constructed language—known colloquially as a conlang—is a language whose phonology, grammar, and/or vocabulary has been consciously devised by an individual or group, instead of having evolved naturally...

     that had the solfège notes as syllables and could be sung or played as well as spoken.
  • Sargam
    Swara
    The seven notes of the scale , in Indian music are named shadja, rishabh, gandhar, madhyam, pancham, dhaivat and nishad, and are shortened to Sa, Ri or Re , Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, and Ni and written S, R, G, M, P, D, N. Collectively these notes are known as the sargam...

  • Shape note
    Shape note
    Shape notes are a music notation designed to facilitate congregational and community singing. The notation, introduced in 1801, became a popular teaching device in American singing schools...

  • Vocable
    Vocable
    In speech, a vocable is an utterance, term, or word that is capable of being spoken and recognized. A non-lexical vocable is used without semantic role or meaning, while structure of vocables is often considered apart from any meaning...


External links


{{Wiktionary|solfège}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Solfege}}