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As mentioned in the section of this chapter on the great Guido d'Arezzo, his naming system for the notes of the heptatonic scale (Solfeggio) was still in use as late as the twentieth century. It even makes its way into the world of film with the appearance of the song "Do-Re-Mi" in "The Sound of Music", although in an altered English variation. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries attempts were made to standardise a system of names based on d'Arezzo that fit the modern twelve tone scale. These varied between the "fixed do" and "movable do" systems - the former being rooted to the note C being Do, and the latter using Do as the root note of whatever key was being referred to. The "fixed do" system of Solfeggio required twelve names for the notes, but d'Arezzo had only named six of them. Initially, this seventh note had been named "Si", after the first letters of the words Sancte Ioannes - the last line of the prayer used by Guido d'Arezzo. However, as a result of eventual developments within the chromatic version of the Solfeggio, this was eventually changed to "Ti" - the syllable "Si" was already in use for another note. This leaves five more notes, each of which is a sharp or flat of an existing note. In one of the more popular fixed do systems, these extra notes were named using the first letter of the preceding note with a different vowel. Hence, the note after Do (C) becomes Di (C#) and the note after Re (D) becomes Ri (D#). This system was also dependent upon the direction in which is was being used - so, the note after Re (D) when moving downwards was Ra (Db). This can be seen in full in Fig 2.33.

Ascending Scale English French Italian & German Descending Scale English French Italian & German C do ut do C do ut do C# di di di B ti ti ti D re ré re Bb te te te D# ri ri ri A la la la E mi mi mi Ab le le le

Solfeggio & The Tonic Sol-Fa

Many of the "movable do" systems did not require the addition of the extra syllables as they relied on the description of the Major scale being a derivation of the original heptatonic scale. They therefore required only the addition of the syllable Ti. The position of Do was dependent upon the key being used, such that G Major had the assignments: Do G Do Bb Re A Re C Mi B Mi D So C So Eb Fa D Fa F La E La G Ti F# Ti A

Likewise, Bb Major would be:

The variant of the system in use in Britain at the beginning of the nineteenth century was first put forward by Sarah Glover (1785-1867 CE) and then popularised by John Curwin (1816-1880 CE). It was called the Tonic Sol-Fa system. The name is derived from the title given to the Middle C of the Musica Recta, which was known as Sol Fa Ut. In addition, the C above this was known as Sol Fa. The key note in Solfeggio is the Ut (Do) - the first note, which is known in as the Tonic. The system survives to this day, but has fallen from general use in instrumental teaching. It has remained a tool of the singing teacher, perhaps in part because of the Rodgers & Hammerstein song which helped to remind the western world of Solfeggio. It is most doubtful that the vast majority of singing teachers know of the original used by d'Arezzo - many assume the Rodgers & Hammerstein version is the original and not plagiarised from an ealier piece.

F fa fa fa G so sol sol F# fi fi fi Gb se se se G so sol sol F fa fa fa G# si si si E mi mi mi A la la la Eb me me me A# li li li D re ré re B ti ti ti Db ra ra ra C do ut do C do ut do

Fig 2.33: The Chromatic Scale in the "Fixed Do" Solfeggio in its descending and ascending forms

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History of Music Theory

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History of Music Theory