Teach Yourself Music Theory – 17.) Solfège Syllables

Cue The Sound Of Music

Anyways, this is a continuation once again of explaining the jargon used amongst musicians when referring to scale degrees.

Solfège Syllables is a practiced used commonly with sight-singing (singing a musical work for the first time without prior rehearsal or practice) to train the performer how to recognize the intervals between pitches just by looking at a piece of sheet music.

“How is this done,” you ask?

Well, many of you might have heard of “do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do,” and that is basically solfège singing. The purpose of it is that when you assign any pitch to “do” (or to any syllable as a matter of fact) you can figure out how to sing the other syllables because the muscles in your vocal chords know the sonic distances between each syllable.

Still sounds complex?

Okay, let’s take a C Major scale. Play it and sing it. Now sing it with “do-re-mi-fa…”

Good! Now, choose any pitch you want (other than C) and make that “do.” From there, if you copy exactly what you did when you sang solfège syllables, you will be able to sing a major scale from any key!

Below is the list of solfège syllables and the chromatic alterations:

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