Talk:Solfège

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Proposed External Link[edit]

Learning to Sight-Sing: The Mental Mechanics of Aural Imagery Clhtnk (talk) 19:11, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Missing solfege syllables[edit]

What are the syllables for augmented 3, diminished 4, dminished 1, and augmented 7? I guess you could use "De" and "Fe" for dim 1 and dim 4, respectively, but I've never heard of those. Do such things exist? -- Merphant

It has to do with the number of half steps between the scale degrees. For example, between "si" and "la" there is only one half step. Because there is only one half step between "mi" and "fa," there is no theoretical need for a raised 3 (likewise a lowered 4 or a lowered 1). If you find one, I would assume you're either in the middle of a modulation, in which case solfege is generally tossed, or in a less tonal piece, in which case, again, solfege is tossed. I'm sure there are exceptions here, but this will be generally true. -- GDPmumin

Fixed Do, Movable Do[edit]

This article is incredibly biased in favor of Movable do. How many of the great composers used movable do? Probably none.

70.20.172.174 (talk) 04:39, 1 April 2009 (UTC)Roger

Both systems are simply ways for identifying notes verbally. Composers write music on staves and it matters little what they call the notes in conversation. So what do you mean about "great compsers used movable do"?

:: Maybe he means "how many of the great composers were educated/trained/raised using movable do"? Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 17:56, 31 January 2013 (UTC)Basemetal 15:43, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Indian classical music, very complex, always use movable... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.64.147.248 (talk) 23:07, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Diphthongs[edit]

Vocalists are often concerned with the proper singing of diphthongs, not only in singing text but also in sight reading/solfege situations. I would say that (especially depending on dialect) the pronunciation hints given in the chart are very conducive to unpleasant diphthongs if used as a reference.

Perhaps IPA or SAMPA pronunciation guides would be more appropriate? Ideas? -- TrbleClef 03:57, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sol, Si, Sharp-Flat[edit]

We call the perfect fifth sol, not so and the major seventh si, not ti. Then, augmented fifth becomes sil and diminished fifth becomes sel. On some occasions, we even call the minor seventh si flat, the augmented fifth sol sharp, and we do similar thing to the other notes. -- ErikDT

We? Who? --Haruo (talk) 04:22, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
The user is Indonesian so maybe he means "we in Indonesia" Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 17:57, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Healing Codes frequencies[edit]

I took out the table "Solfeggio frequencies" table for the lack of explanation about its origin and the potential misunderstanding as to its meaning. I strongly feel that, if this belongs in Wikipedia at all, it should have its own article. I'm afraid that the "healing powers" aspect of the information leaves me reluctant to see it inline with more conventional writing. WikiWikiPhil 01:34, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I made no mention to the Healing Frequences. The Solfeggio Frequences are true, regardless of "correlations" with ideas you disagree with. Until you can show that these frequencies are wrong, they should be left in. Michael.Pohoreski 01:15, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I can show the frequencies are not musical. A perfect fifth should be in the ratio 2:3, but here Ut1 -> Sol1 is *1.87, and Ut2 -> Sol2 is *1.37. Could you cite a couple of sources to show the link with the rest of this article? WikiWikiPhil 01:07, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Schools that offer Solfege[edit]

I'm interested to continue learning Solfege, but my question is which schools usually offer Solfege?


Ti - si?[edit]

"In Continental Europe and East Asia, si is the seventh major, instead of ti"

I don't know about other European countries but here in Hungary we call the seventh major ti. (And I think Hungary is definitely part of Central Europe.) So the statement above is not true in this form. I recommend the following change:

"In many countries of Continental Europe and East Asia, si is the seventh major, instead of ti"

or if we know more about exactly how many countries are using ti and si maybe

"In most countries of Continental Europe and East Asia, si is the seventh major, instead of ti".
Do Hungarians use movable do or fixed do? Would you mind translating the Hungarian page on solfege and posting it somewhere? Perhaps at Users:Gheuf/sandbox/hungarian solfege or something like that? I'm trying to revamp the article to make it as inclusive as possible. Information on how solfege is done in different countries would be valuable.--24.199.120.71 23:50, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

:::Hungarians mostly use the Kodály method which is movable do Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 18:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC) Basemetal 15:43, 6 September 2016 (UTC) Basemetal 15:44, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

I'm Taiwanese and we use si instead of ti, as well as so instead of sol. Chenhsi (talk) 21:08, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm a Musician— The original syllable is SI, from Italian. In Romance languages, SI is still used to this day. I believe that TI was adopted, possibly in an English-speaking country, in order that the first letters be distinct from one another, namely d r m f s l t. For the purposes of singing, SI is easier to pronounce. For the purposes of writing and studying solfege, TI makes more sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.156.44.160 (talk) 15:34, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

The reason why "ti" is used instead of "si" in English is because "si", the seventh of the major scale, can be confused with "C", the note. I actually don't know why "ti" is chosen over any other syllable, but this is the reason why "si" is usually not used in English. But in modern solfege classes where only "do", "re", "mi", etc. are used and no confusion of "si" and "C" is possible, then "si" is used, correct? --number googol (edits) 04:59, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
But that introduces a collision between scale degree 5 and scale degree 7 in chromatic solfège. Double sharp (talk) 09:22, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Commercial Spam Link[edit]

I removed the "solfeggio miracle toothbrush" link. Commercial and not appropriate.
And I just removed it as well.

"Its equivalent since Early Modern English is sol-fa."[edit]

Can someone explain to me the meaning of this sentence? Robert K S 16:23, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea.--24.199.120.71 23:46, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Major Revamping[edit]

I think this article could use some major revamping. I've posted a version of what I think it might look like at www.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Gheuf/sandbox/solfege. Let me know what you think. (The information on Tonic sol-fa would be moved to its own page, now at www.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Gheuf/sandbox/Tonic_sol-fa)--24.199.120.71 23:45, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

For the record (it's been a while now), I merged this and [Tonic Sol-fa] in mid-2005, however both articles have been expanded since then. WikiWikiPhil 21:05, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Solfege is not synonymous with solmisation[edit]

Solmisation is the singing of music naming the sounds. Solmisation is a very old strategy for memorising music. Its first documented used appears to be in ancient India (where the notes are named as sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, da, ni). Solfeggio (Italian), solfege (French), solfeo (Spanish) is solmisation using as note names the syllables derived from an Hymn to Saint John the Baptist (Sancte Ioannes) mainly by Guido D'Arezzo : Ut (changed for "Do" in Italy), Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si (the latter, added later, is an acronym of the hymn's name).

You're right that "solmization" is not/has not always been entirely synonymous with "solfege": but in contemporary use in the USA "solfege" tends to be used for "solmization" and "solmization" not at all. I am not sure that any distinction is maintained between the two. Your distinction seems to be that "solfege" is a TYPE of solmization: in particular, the solmization used in Europe. This is not the distinction that I have seen elsewhere. As it is, the article discusses some of these issues in its second section.--Gheuf 04:58, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I took a stab at resolving this, let me know what you think (as if that ever needs an invitation on Wikipedia!). I also added solfeggio as a synonymn in the first sentence MrRK 20:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Citation needed?[edit]

Someone has appended "citation needed" to the remark in the introduction that in English-speaking countries, So and Ti are used for Sol and Si. I'm not clear on why this needs a citation: it's common knowledge. It appears in the famous "Do Re Mi" song by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Later on in the article, it says that Si was changed to Ti by Sarah Glover in the 19th century -- this is a much more specific claim that really could use a citation: and yet no "citation needed" has been added here. I think the "citation needed" should be taken away from the general common knowledge in the first paragraph, and put onto the specific remark about Sarah Glover later on. --Gheuf 04:56, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, that was me. I missed your comment here, but I pretty much did what you recommended already. Please feel free to correct as needed. You may also want to replace "Sol (or So)" with "So (or Sol)" in the intro. — Sebastian 01:07, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I removed some templates asking for citations in basically nonsensical places, and the ugly box at the top claiming that the article does not live up to wikipedia citation standards. This article has inline citations for practically every paragraph. If only the rest of wikipedia was as well documented! Please, people, ask for citations only where some real point of fact is being presented that should be coming from a cite-able source. If they're just stating the obvious to round out a thought, give us all a break and refrain from insisting upon documentation for such trivialities. And, of course, let one inline citation apply to an entire paragraph if that's the way the author wants to do it. It's ridiculous to see "citation needed" only a few words into a paragraph and yet the end of that same paragraph has a footnote number. That's pedantry. Dlw20070716 (talk) 23:17, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Sol-fa redirect[edit]

Why does "Sol-fa" redirect here? I'm looking for an album by a Japanese band. 77.97.230.248 14:42, 8 April 2007 (UTC)DanZieBoy

Does the name of the album also happen to be "Sol-fa"? I'm not sure there's any article about it.--Gheuf 04:42, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Sol, not So[edit]

References I have checked, including < http://www.m-w.com >, say that Sol is (by far) the preferred form.

If someone is going to revert the first paragraph to the one using So instead of Sol, can you please say what is the basis for your claim (preferably including a respectable reference)? Daqu 23:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Neither "so" nor "sol" is "preferred". The different forms belong to two different pedagogical traditions. "Sol" is the original form of the word and is used in France and Italy as the word for "G"; it is also used in other places that have adopted the pedagogical methods of solfege used there (including some American conservatories). "So" is the form used in English-speaking countries to refer to the fifth degree of the major scale, as well as in other places that have adopted pedagogical methods of solfege used in England (e.g., Hungary, and to some extent Italy).
This article has to include both since its purpose is to explain what solfege is, not to advocate this or that approach to it. It was thought preferable to give the usual English forms first, even though they are not the original forms, because the article is written in English; the Continental forms are given in parentheses and explained more fully in the rest of the article. Since both systems of nomenclature are in widespread use, the necessity of giving pride of place to only one of them must lead to a some what arbitrary decision. The present solution has the merit of avoiding some absurdity such as "The syllables used for this are Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La and Si (though "So" and "Ti" are used in English)". Used in English... as opposed to what language? Since the article is in English, it seems less awkward simply to put the English names first.

--Gheuf 18:30, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to see a cite for "So" in English. I've never seen it spelled other than "Sol," nor has my wife, who studied solfege in Boston in the 1950's, and continues to be an active musician... __Just plain Bill 20:58, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
It's fair to say that most people these days learned "doe ray me fah sew lah tea" from The Sound of Music, so there's your citation. The syllables are arbitrary to help people sight-sing music. Are we going to all argue now for the prescriptive re-introduction of "ut" instead of "do" because it was used first?70.55.39.192 (talk) 13:38, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I was curious about sol v. so and ti v. si (since I learned from the Sound of Music song), so I did a semi-scientific study using Google searches (of the entire do...si/ti sequence). Results:

  • sol & si: 282,000
  • so & ti: 24,500
  • sol & ti: 4,900
  • so & si: 540

So it seems that sol & si are (by wide margin) the preferred terms, at least on the Internet. JimTheFrog 09:48, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Dunno what searches you used, but these are my results:
"do re mi fa so la ti" 34400 [1] [24000]
"do re mi fa sol la ti" 14200 [2] [9560]
"do re me fa so la ti" 2890 [3] [2170]
"do re mi fa so la si" 965 [4] [1430]
"do re mi fa sol la si" 356000 [5] [934]
"do re me fa so la te" 808 [6] [707]
"do re mi fa so la te" 921 [7] [594]
"do re me fa sol la ti" 1300 [8] [503]
"do re me fa so la si" 593 [9] [331]
"do re me fa sol la si" 442 [10] [276]
"do re me fa sol la te" 159 [11] [123]
"do re mi fa sol la te" 344 [12] [96]
The first number is the raw figure from the linked queryl; the bracketed figure is when I restricted to English language results (I can't find a Google-parameter for that).
I didn't check variants fah, lah, ray, doh.
Re sources:
Concise Oxford: soh, also so or sol, te (N.Amer ti) alteration of obsolete si
American Heritage: sol, also so, ti (also lists si, but not te)
Merriam-Webster Collegiate: sol, also so, ti (also lists si, not te)
jnestorius(talk) 12:52, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Having also studied music my entire life, I have never encountered "so" rather than "sol" in professional contexts.
It seems almost obvious that "so" derives from mis-hearing the enunciated scale portion ". . . sol la . . .", thinking there is only one "L" where there are really two.Daqu (talk) 04:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I studied piano for 9 years in Canada, and I always used Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si. I've never once, in my whole life before today, heard of "So" and "Ti" - especially about them being used mainly in Anglo-Saxon countries, because I've met Americans and Canadians who've studied music and also only used Sol and Si. I wouldn't be surprised if in GB&I, maybe even Australia and New Zealand, So and Ti are used, but it shocks me to learn that people where I studied use predominantly those, let alone at all. I don't necessarily dispute it, I'm no expert; but it just seems unbelievable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.179.41.11 (talk) 07:19, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

I would like to add my voice to the "what the heck?" chorus with regard to "so" vs. "sol". I have 5 Theory books at home, all used at various US Universities and Conservatories and have NEVER seen (in writing) anybody refer to this syllable as "so"; it is ALWAYS "sol". I agree with Daqu that when people pronounce "so" it is just an elision with "la". Ladysun1969 (talk) 23:28, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Are all these musicians not being a bit disingenuous claiming to never have heard the song from The Sound of Music? "Sew, a needle pulling thread ... tea, a drink with jam and bread". It would be amazing to me that someone could be a musician and not have heard that song. Even more amazing would be the claim of being a professional musician in an English-speaking country who has never once considered auditioning for a production of The Sound of Music, and thus would be familiar with the song for that purpose. 70.55.39.192 (talk) 13:47, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

the text book my teacher used was do re mi fa so la ti so always is definatly going to be an over statement I also have never seen sol until I came to this page --69.146.158.34 (talk) 21:36, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Can we stick to sources and not speculation? If you want to write about your personal experiences there are other places. If you want to write in a "neutral" manner stay here. Hyacinth (talk) 15:27, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Sol. See? __Just plain Bill (talk) 15:36, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Personal experience is relevent when one says always or never--209.181.16.93 (talk) 22:22, 5 January 2010 (UTC)

Geographical range of moveable do[edit]

The article says moveable do is not generally used in Continental Europe. It is exclusively used in Hungary instead of the "fixed do" system, and unless I'm much mistaken, also in many other countries with significant German musical influence (which means much of Central Europe).

In Russia, on the other hand, the fixed do is definitely used, but I'm not sure whether alternatively or exclusively. 84.2.212.45 (talk) 15:06, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Origin of symbols[edit]

I would like to add the following to this section. Please read the source and let me know if you have comments, questions.OpTioNiGhT (talk) 04:39, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
French scholars Laborde and Villoteau suggest that Guido of Arezzo was himself influenced by Muslim musical notation.[1] (http://www.muslimheritage.com/uploads/Music2.pdf)

Table showing similarity between musical notes and the Arabic alphabet.[2]
Arabic Alphabet mi fa sad la sin dal ra
Musical Notes mi fa sol la si do re

[Removed the 'float:left' style from the above table because it was breaking page formatting in Internet Explorer. --SolfegeNut (talk) 00:10, 19 August 2008 (UTC)]

This is really anachronistic and nonsensical. Guido never used si or do! They were not invented until 900 years later or so. On this point the article is woefully inadequate. Guido did not have a full scale with two halfsteps, only a hexachord with one halfstep (mi-fa) and that was very necessary in his days because the distance between the two halfsteps in the scale could vary a lot more in the modes of his day than today.

Jcwf (talk) 17:22, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I removed the Alternative theories section as it breaks up the Guido to 'Elizabethian' narrative and didn't seem to claim a direct influence on the development of solfege. That is, until I checked here and also discovered an unsigned commented-out discussion in the wikicode, which I append below. I would love to see a well developed Durar mufaṣṣalāt' article though, and a more thorough survey in the Solmization article. Sparafucil (talk) 22:40, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

An alternative theory on the origins of solfège proposes that it may have also had [[Arabic music]]al 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]] system درر مفصّلات ''Durar Mufaṣṣalāt'' ("Separated Pearls") ([[Arabic alphabet|''dāl, rā', mīm, fā', ṣād, lām, tā''']]) during the [[Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe]]. This origin theory was first proposed by [[Francisci a Mesgnien Meninski]] in 1680, and then by [[Jean-Benjamin de La Borde]] in 1780.<ref>''Thesaurus Linguarum Orientalum'' (1680) {{OCLC|61900507}}</ref><ref>''Essai sur la Musique Ancienne et Moderne'' (1780) {{OCLC|61970141}}</ref><ref>{{Cite book |last=Farmer |first=Henry George |authorlink=Henry George Farmer |year=1988 |title=Historical facts for the Arabian Musical Influence |publisher=Ayer Publishing |isbn=0-405-08496-X |oclc=220811631 |pages=72–82 |postscript=<!--None-->}}</ref><ref>{{Cite journal |title=Guido d'Arezzo: Medieval Musician and Educator |first=Samuel D. |last=Miller |journal=Journal of Research in Music Education |volume=21 |issue=3 |date=Autumn 1973 |pages=239–45 |doi=10.2307/3345093 |jstor=3345093 |publisher=MENC_ The National Association for Music Education |postscript=<!--None-->}}</ref> [[Guillaume Villoteau]] ''(Description historique, technique et litteraire des instruments de musique des orientaux'' in the ''[[Description de l'Égypte]]'',<ref>[http://descegy.bibalex.org/index1.html (¯`Description de l’Egypte Digital Collection`¯)<!-- Bot generated title -->]</ref> Paris 1809) appears to endorse this view.{{Citation needed|date=May 2010}} However, there is no documentary evidence for this theory.<ref>Miller 1973, p. 244.</ref> In all of [[Hindustani music]] and [[Carnatic music]] (two major branches of [[Indian classical music]]), a form of solfège called [[swara]] or sargam is the first lesson. In Indian classical music the corresponding sounds of solfège are ''sa, re (ri), ga, ma, pa, dha, ni'' and back to ''sa''. The [[Sanhita]] portion of the [[Samaveda]] (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}} The oldest portions of the Samhita of Rigveda date back to 1500 BCE and that of the Samaveda, which mostly reproduces text from the Rigveda to before 1000 BCE. The absence of written records (while true until the invention of the Brahmi script ca. 300 BC) was not an impediment because those texts were transmitted orally. In fact there are specific techniques of recitation used to ensure the integrity of the oral transmition (reciting word by word, two words by two words, etc.) so it is not implausible to assert that the text was transmitted orally with reasonable integrity from that remote a time. In fact, even ''after'' the invention of writing in India, the Vedas ''continued'' to be transmitted exclusively orally without taking advantage of writing. The Vedas were first started to be put down in writing under the dictation of people who knew them by heart around the 8th c. AD when political and social upheavals for the first time were felt like they were threatening the integrity of the oral transmission. All these facts are well known. See any manual on the cultural history of India. There is no reason for scepticism. --> were later set to music using this technique. This is the earliest known origin of the solfège.{{Citation needed|date=September 2010|reason=it is unclear that this is related to the subject of this article}} <!-- That the music of the Samaveda was set to music using the sa, ri, ga, etc. method and the fact that later Indian musical theory is related to the music of the Samaveda are a traditional Indian account which is nevertheless highly doubtful. Furthermore it is not clear that an account of the Indian method is appropriate in an article dealing with solfège which is a Western method so the tag here is appropriate; the Indian method should be given its own article -->

Moveable do vs. fixed do as a source of confusion about syllables[edit]

In my opinion, the distinction between moveable do and fixed do should be made in the very first paragraph of the article and re-emphasized whenever examples of solfège syllables are given. The blurring of this distinction seems to be the main reason there is so much confusion about which syllables are 'the' solfège syllables, including the si vs. ti issue, altered syllables, and so on.

Since, as the article points out, moveable do is much more common than fixed do in English-speaking countries, it is reasonable for the article to focus on that system. It would also be reasonable, I think, for fixed do to be presented primarily as it is used in countries where it dominates, with any less common variants carefully marked as such.

As the article mentions, in Romance-language countries (and some others), the solfège syllables are used first and foremost to name notes in writing and speech. This usage of the syllables can most easily be found in Romance-language track listings for classical music CDs, where they are used to name keys (example). The names used in this context---the naming of major and minor keys in Romance languages---are do (usually ut in French), re ( in French), mi, fa, sol (never so), la, and si (never ti). When the tonic of a key is a sharped or flatted note, the native word for 'sharp' or 'flat' is used in the name of the key (for example, G-flat major is called sol bémol majeur in French). Altered syllables are not used.

The same syllables are used in Romance-language countries for singing as are used to name the notes in writing, with the following qualifiers: 1) even in France, do is used for singing instead of ut; 2) when a written note name is multi-syllabic, as it is with any altered note, the modifier part of the name is not sung. For example, the note G-flat is sung simply as sol. Again, altered syllables are not used.

Here a citation in a Romance-language source would be preferable, and I do not have one (nor am I fluent in any Romance language). I have learned about the system from discussions with others who grew up in Romance-language countries. The best I can do for an English-language source right now is this page at Eastman School of Music.

It is misleading for the article to have a table in the fixed do section that includes altered syllables (and also presents so and ti as the norm). It is not how the system is used in the countries where it dominates. The one-sentence disclaimer after the table is not good enough.

(Furthermore, even if the table were accurate it would be inadequate. If altered syllables were used with fixed do, then there would need to be more altered syllables than there are with moveable do, because the basic syllables would always refer to naturals. C-flat, F-flat, B-sharp, E-sharp, and the double-sharps and double-flats would all need their own syllables, making a total of 31. This is why altered syllables are not used with fixed do in the first place.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by SolfegeNut (talkcontribs) 23:20, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Re-reading the page, I see that C-flat, F-flat, B-sharp, and E-sharp are already in the fixed do table. My points remain that completeness would require extra syllables for double-sharps and double-flats, and that fixed do is most often used with no altered syllables at all.
I have posted a proposed revision to the table in User:SolfegeNut/Sandbox which attempts to make clear the difference between the full note name and the solfege syllable. Spellings of the note names and syllables that use accent marks (as in French or Portuguese) were omitted.
SolfegeNut (talk) 03:07, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
I went ahead and edited the Fixed Do section of the page. Comments are welcome.
SolfegeNut (talk) 08:27, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


For fixed do, are chromatic syllabes used or not after all? According to the article they are not, but then some sources (http://www.jomarpress.com/nagel/articles/Solfeg.html) indicate that both systems (fixed and movable) might or might not use altered syllabes. What's the final answer? I'm keen to understand, for example, how should one proceed with C# ionian when using fixed do. Is it Do(C#)-Re(D#)-Mi(E#)-Fa(F#)-Sol(G#)-La(A#)-Si(B#)-Do(C#) or Do(C#)-Re(D#)-Fa(F)-Fa(F#)-Sol(G#)-La(A#)-Do(C)-Do(C#)? It would be strange to use the same syllabe for two different pitches if that's the case. Please clarify. 81.101.18.116 (talk) 23:58, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Disambiguation of the solfège names[edit]

(I think this is closely related to the topic, namely

Moveable do vs. fixed do as a source of confusion about syllables

that i've made it a sub-section of -- even if it is not properly part of that topic.)
The Dab page Do has an defective entry reading

* Do (musical note), the first note of the musical scale in solfege

It is most obviously defective bcz a single Dab entry may not have two blue lks: Contrary to earlier guidelines, if solfège cannot be counted on to be understood sufficiently widely, it should now be avoided by rewording, e.g.

* Do (musical note), the first note of the musical scale sung or described with "do, re, mi, ..."

I mention that much detail mostly bcz it bears on the deeper defect, namely that Do (musical note) is a Rdr to C (musical note), whereas it should probably be a Dab between C (musical note) and -- on the assumption that Do in its solfège sense cannot support its own article -- (ta-da!) solfège.
If i were cleaning up Do, i would both convert the Rdr to such a Dab, and, i expect, split the Do entry i cite above into two:

* Do, the first note C (musical note) of the C-major scale
* Do, the first note of any musical scale sung or described with solfège

I propose to do both -- and proceed up the solfège scale doing the corresponding 2 tasks on the other six syllables, and i suppose on the -- what, five? -- additional half-step syllables. I have only today learned of the fixed-do solfège, however, so i would welcome correction of the misconceptions that i probably still harbor, and discussion of any pitfalls in the approach i have just outlined. I'll endeavor to listen to your technically informed critiques with the same sensitivity that i will press you-all to show for such widely misunderstood issues as the perhaps 101 ways that Dab pages differ (and must differ) from articles.
--Jerzyt 20:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Does the word 'sol-fa' really need a citation?[edit]

The word 'sol-fa' is listed in my copy of Random House Webster's College Dictionary (2000) as both a noun and a verb and is dated to 1560-70. It seems strange to require a citation for a word that has been in the English language that long. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SolfegeNut (talkcontribs) 06:49, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Anything challenged may need citation. The fact that dictionaries exist... Hyacinth (talk) 15:22, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Relation to Modern musical notation[edit]

The article doesn't discuss the relationship with modern musical notation. Are they complementary, is one better for certain tasks, etc. pgr94 (talk) 13:01, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Order of ascending chromatic scale[edit]

I'm a little confused on the order of the chromatic scale. It's listed so that the top is high do and the bottom is low do. This makes sense visually, but it doesn't when reading it. For ease of understanding the order, maybe should it be written like this:

do
di
re
ri
mi
fa
fi
sol
si
la
li
ti
do

Or, to avoid any confusion, maybe writing it all on one line would be best: do, di, re, ri, mi, fa, fi, sol, si, la, li, ti, do.

What do you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Flowr6powr (talkcontribs) 20:14, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

For me, reading them going down, as you have proposed, looks very strange. Maybe because I have some musical training and expect higher notes to be higher on the page. Maybe putting them all on one line is best for reading? Calliopejen1 (talk) 14:12, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Four syllables in shape-note singing.[edit]

[The use of only the four syllables mi,fa,'sol, and la, was ] "eliminated by the 19th century, but it was (and still is in a few rare circumstances) used in the shape note system." This should be re-worded. The use of only four syllable in the shape-note system is widespread, and in fact, is the most common system of solmization used in shape-note singing. It is not just a few rare circumstances. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 139.68.134.1 (talk) 19:43, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I don't think either statement is true. People who are aware of the widespread use of fasola shapenotes (the four-shape system) in Sacred Harp and Sacred-Harp-related singing, a tradition which is alive and well throughout the English-speaking world and not unheard of elsewhere, tend to be unaware of the lively survival of a seven-shape shapenote in certain Protestant church circles, mostly in the southern United States and among conservative Mennonites. And vice versa, the seven-note shapenote singers tend not to be aware of the currency of the Sacred Harp. Documenting this in a no-original-research Wp-appropriate way is another matter. Also note that these are movable-do(h) systems, even though they are predominantly used, past and present, in the US, contrary to an early assertion in the article to the contrary. --Haruo (talk) 04:19, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

What is the etymology of "fa"? This needs to be included.Curb Chain (talk) 11:33, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

In this edit, I added the theory published by Boris Mouravieff where he presents 'fa' as corresponding to the Latin word FAtum, meaning "fate". Each note is explained by him in terms of esoteric cosmology. That's the most comprehensive theory that I am aware of, and it presents an understanding of the scale with a far richer meaning than other explanations.--Tdadamemd (talk) 23:41, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Excessive linking[edit]

The paragraph

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 the United Kingdom, Germany, Indian classical music, and the United States).

strikes me as vastly overlinked. I don't think it does readers any good to see blue links on every other word, unless the word is pertinent to the subject matter. Clicking on the names of various countries will add nothing to the reader's understanding of solfège. I think it would be much better to have it read

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 the United Kingdom, Germany, Indian classical music, and the United States).

Unless someone objects soon, I'll probably come back and implement this, as I see it, improvement. --Haruo (talk) 23:08, 20 March 2012 (UTC)


--- I am not much of a help, but I suppose even a short note can be useful. Not sure if I am even in a right place for this... And apologize for not directing to any sources nor using official terms or even doing any decent research before posting.

This article probably should also mention (or at least direct to) stuff about how notes are written as: C - Cis|Des - D - Dis|Eis - E - F - Fis|Ges - G - Gis|As - Ais|B(Hes)(Bes?) - H(B).

--- demented — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.80.227.105 (talk) 14:13, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

The link to the French page is erroneous.[edit]

In the list of languages, the French link leads to fr:Solfège. Based on reading that article, I would say that the French word "solfège" means "classical music education," as the article consists of an overview of what is and isn't encompassed thereby. I suggest linking to fr:Notes_de_musique#Noms instead. Envergure (talk) 20:32, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

== Explanation of the origin of syllable Si is probably wrong. ==

Most sources give for the syllable Si the explanation that it is the contraction of the first letters of "Sancte" and "Iohanne", but that fact is highly dubious in my opinion, for the following reasons:

  1. the analogy with the way the other syllables were chosen would give "Sa" not "Si" since all the other syllables are the initial syllables of their line
  2. neither the first syllable of "Sancte" nor the first syllable of "Iohanne" are actually sung on the 7th degree of the scale: the whole hymn is comprised within one hexachord, which was precisely why Guido d'Arezzo chose this hymn to give him the syllables of his system (besides of course the crucial fact that the first 6 lines begin on successively higher and higher degrees of the hexachord, which, as stated, is not the case for the last line "Sancte Iohanne").

So it is much more probable that the syllable "Si" has got nothing at all to do with the words of the hymn and that this explanation was invented much after the adoption of the syllable "Si" to try and find an a posteriori (after the fact) explanation for the name, and that this hypothetical explanation (which is indeed found in many sources) was then copied over and over (it would be interesting incidentally to find the first source that gives this explanation and I am sure it is much later than the time that the syllable "Si" actually began to be used).

The question for Wikipedia is the following: should an explanation be adopted literally just because it is found in sources, even though it is highly dubious (for the reasons I gave).

Or should Wikipedia say "The origin for the syllable "Si" is not known although many sources give the following explanation...". In the latter case should my discussion of why this explanation is dubious be included in the article, or would that be "original research" unless I can locate a source that also thinks that explanation is dubious and gives an identical argument to the one I gave above, and quote it.

More generally, should statements which should be considered dubious by any person that looked at them carefully be characterized as such only if a source can be located that plainly states the given statement is dubious?

You can see the problem with either choice:

  1. If you do include an unqualified statement (any statement) into Wikipedia then Wikipedia implicitly gives it authority, puts a stamp of approval on it, as it were, asserts that from Wikipedia's point of view the statement is true, even though the statement may look highly probablematic.
  2. On the other hand if you qualify a statement as "dubious", "doubtful", etc. without sources qualifying it as such, just based on your own argumentation, common sense, judgement, etc. now that would be considered "original research".

In any case I've tagged this statement in the article with the dubious template. I hope the discussion will continue because it is useful both for the present article and to clarify a general problem in Wikipedia.

Signed: Basemetal (write to me here) 18:48, 31 January 2013 (UTC)Basemetal 15:46, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Moveable do in Japan[edit]

The article lists Japan as a moveable do country in one section and a fixed do country in another section. It seems to me that fixed do is correct based on the fact that my daughter, who is in fifth grade here in Tokushima City, is being taught fixed do in her music class. The curriculum in Japanese public schools is fixed by the Ministry of Education and there is essentially no chance that a Japanese Music teacher would teach anything other than the officialy-adopted system. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Henrodon (talkcontribs) 00:02, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Audio takes ?[edit]

Could someone please add some audio tracks to this page. Since it deals with musical sounds the IPA seems a tad misplaced. Hearing the actual respective notes would help a whole lot more. THKS. 99.11.160.111 (talk) 06:11, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

See below seems to reference missing text[edit]

In the last paragraph of the "Comparison of the two systems" section, there is

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 music, music that modulates or changes key often, or music in which the composer simply did not bother to write a key signature. It is not uncommon for this to be the case in modern or contemporary choral works.

The "see below" reference seems to be of something that was deleted or simply never added, it should probably be fixed or removed.

Kewne (talk) 18:32, 14 October 2016 (UTC)