do, remifaso(l)lati – known as Solfège

It is likely you have came across this combination of syllables before, but what do they all mean?

These are the western movable note names to help recognize pitch. Each of these 7 syllables in this order represents a scale degree for a Major key. If we used C Major, our scale would look like this:

C – Do

D – Re

E – Mi

F – Fa

G – So

A – La

B – Ti

however if we decided to play in D Major, our scale would look like this:

D – Do

E – Re

F# – Mi

G – Fa

A – So

B – La

C# – Te

As you can see we start with the same syllable ‘Do’ and follow the same pattern. On your given instrument, play the Major scale in any key and sing each note that you play, going from low to high pitch. Practicing this in various major keys will help you hear intervals as well as improving your vocal accuracy over time.

*Some cultures are note – syllable specific (C is always Do, D is always Re, etc). We recommend learning this as a movable pattern in various keys instead to get a much stronger sense of intervals and pitches.

Once you are comfortable with the syllables of the Major key, learn the syllables in between. Those are:

Raised 1 – Di

Lowered 2 – Ra

Raised 2 – Ri

Lowered 3 – Me/Ma

Raised 4 – Fi

Lowered 5 – Se

Raised 5 – Si

Lowered 6 – Le/Lo

Raised 6 – Li

Lowered 7 – Te/Ta

 

For a minor key you can go two ways. The first way would be to keep the order the same, but use the lowered 3rd, 6th and 7th syllable:

Do – Re – Me/Ma – Fa – Sol – Le/Lo – Te/Ta

Or we could start on the 6th degree of the Major scale:

La – Ti – Do – Re – Mi – Fa – Sol

If we would use this 2nd example in A Minor, our note names would be:

A – La

B – Ti

C# – Do

D – Re

E – Mi

F# – Fa

G# – Sol

 

Practice changing between various Major and minor keys and you will gain fluidity in no time!

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