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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
elfenbein #1415318 04/11/10 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by elfenbein
Dumdumdiddle, to answer your question about whether Musikgarten uses movable or fixed do: they use movable do. I think the idea is that movable do teaches intervallic relationships (whereas fixed do replaces letter names) but I could be mistaken.



Thanks Elfenbein for answering the question concerning fixed or moveable Do within Musikgarten. I wasn't 100% sure. To the best of my knowledge Musikgarten is also another program in the US that also teaches solfege.

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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
elfenbein #1415331 04/11/10 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by elfenbein
I think the idea is that movable do teaches intervallic relationships (whereas fixed do replaces letter names)


I don't understand this idea. It seems to me that when a student grasps the value of an interval, he can sing it starting from any note. For example, the just fifth, tonic-dominant, be it in the key of Do-major or the key of Sol-major, or any other key.

Which makes me think: when you teach solfège in English, do you say "key of Do". Because here "key" -- the clé or clef -- isn't used in this sense, one says "tonality", or simply "in Do" or "in Sol".

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415340 04/11/10 03:09 PM
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The Wikipedia definition of solfège:

Dans la musique occidentale, le solfège (ou formation musicale) est l'étude des éléments permettant de lire, écrire, jouer ou chanter une partition. Le but ultime du solfège est de pouvoir entendre une œuvre musicale, son orchestration et son interprétation, sans autre support que son audition intérieure.


In western music, solfège is the study of elements permitting to read, write, play or sing a score. The ultimate objective of solfège is to be able to hear a musical work, its orchestration and its interpretation, using no other medium that one's interior hearing.


The English Wikidefinition:

In music, solfège (pronounced /ˈsoʊlfɛʒ/, also called solfeggio, sol-fa, or solfa) is a pedagogical solmization technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a solfège syllable (or "sol-fa syllable").

For me, this misses the point. Solfège is not about sight-singing, it is about reading. But reading in the sense that one reads literature.

When you read a book, the letters form words and the words follow along and provoke immediately the formation of an idea. So it is with music, and the objective of solfège is to be able to form a musical idea from reading a score, whether the idea is sung or played ... or simply heard in the mind.


Last edited by landorrano; 04/11/10 03:22 PM.
Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415348 04/11/10 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by landorrano
Originally Posted by elfenbein
I think the idea is that movable do teaches intervallic relationships (whereas fixed do replaces letter names)


I don't understand this idea. It seems to me that when a student grasps the value of an interval, he can sing it starting from any note. For example, the just fifth, tonic-dominant, be it in the key of Do-major or the key of Sol-major, or any other key.

Which makes me think: when you teach solfège in English, do you say "key of Do". Because here "key" -- the clé or clef -- isn't used in this sense, one says "tonality", or simply "in Do" or "in Sol".
"key" and "clef" have different meanings in english. This can be confusing for non-english speakers. In English, "key" means either the tonality, or the black and white things you push (sorry kbk, scratch and flick smile ) on a piano. "Clef" means the sign on the written music which indicates the reference pitch - thus, treble (G) clef, etc.

As to Elfenbein's summary - I think it's a description of the way the method proceeds. Movable do goes from the general (scale degrees) to the specific (scale degrees in G major, or B major, or whatever you're looking at). Fixed do goes from the specific (do is this note here, on the keyboard and on the staff notation) to the general (grasping the value of an interval generally, as you describe).

In my experience here at PW, I've found that it is very difficult to explain movable do to anyone who's grown up with the fixed system.



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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415353 04/11/10 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by landorrano
When you read a book, the letters form words and the words follow along and provoke immediately the formation of an idea. So it is with music, and the objective of solfège is to be able to form a musical idea from reading a score, whether the idea is sung or played ... or simply heard in the mind.
I agree with this, of course. It's just that sight singing is a (useful) tool along the way. It's also often how you know you're hearing something (internally) correctly. Movable do is about internal hearing as much as sight singing. You need the former to do the latter, and you develop the latter with the help of the former.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
dumdumdiddle #1415390 04/11/10 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I will say that I do teach about the 'Key of C', 'Key of G', 'Key of Am', as we move through the different 5-Finger patterns. This way they will have no trouble later identifying that C is 'do', D is 're', etc... They learn that a C chord is do-mi-sol, a G7 chord is ti-fa-sol.


Reading back over this post brings me to ask if I understand you correctly:

You do not, then, speak for example of the "key of Do". You say the key of C, which is composed of Do, Ré, Mi etc.

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
currawong #1415395 04/11/10 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by currawong

In my experience here at PW, I've found that it is very difficult to explain movable do to anyone who's grown up with the fixed system.



I have to admit that I cannot see the advantage of movable Do.

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415422 04/11/10 05:28 PM
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If, growing up with letter names for notes, someone had suggested to me that C doesn't really have to be C, that it could be any note, just as long as "D" then were a whole step above "C" - I would have thought they were nuts. This is, I imagine, what movable Do must look like to someone who grew up with fixed Do.

I think, movable Do and letter names can co-exist, and fixed Do and letter names can coexist (just different terms for the same thing), but, as Currawong pointed out, movable Do and fixed Do cannot.

(Of course, now I want to look into the history of how come there is a fixed Do and a movable Do in the first place smile )

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415429 04/11/10 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by landorrano
Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle
I will say that I do teach about the 'Key of C', 'Key of G', 'Key of Am', as we move through the different 5-Finger patterns. This way they will have no trouble later identifying that C is 'do', D is 're', etc... They learn that a C chord is do-mi-sol, a G7 chord is ti-fa-sol.


Reading back over this post brings me to ask if I understand you correctly:

You do not, then, speak for example of the "key of Do". You say the key of C, which is composed of Do, Ré, Mi etc.


Yes, that's right.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
elfenbein #1415433 04/11/10 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by elfenbein
If, growing up with letter names for notes, someone had suggested to me that C doesn't really have to be C, that it could be any note, just as long as "D" then were a whole step above "C" - I would have thought they were nuts. This is, I imagine, what movable Do must look like to someone who grew up with fixed Do.


Well no, it's not my reaction at all. However I fail to see reasons for moving the Do.

Is it a consequence of not embracing do-ré-mi as the general musical nomenclature, of limiting its utilisation?

Is movable do used in professional circles? In what way?

These are true questions, I'm not trying to convince anyone to abandon movable do.

That said, I do believe that movable do in some form preceeds fixed do, historically speaking.

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415436 04/11/10 06:04 PM
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My understanding is that movable do is used more in choral settings for transposing purposes.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415477 04/11/10 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by landorrano
Originally Posted by currawong

In my experience here at PW, I've found that it is very difficult to explain movable do to anyone who's grown up with the fixed system.



I have to admit that I cannot see the advantage of movable Do.


With twenty guns to my head, I could still never work with any OTHER system. It's what I was drilled in from about grade 2 in public schools when "music" on your report card meant sight reading for singing. No rote there.
I swear I still remember a lot of those songs.

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
riley80 #1415492 04/11/10 08:27 PM
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I see no difference between teaching fixed do and between teaching note names.

However, teaching movable do requires the learner to read relationships between notes (intervals) and understand/hear key.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
Minniemay #1415609 04/12/10 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Minniemay

However, teaching movable do requires the learner to read relationships between notes (intervals) and understand/hear key.


Can you explain? I cannot understand how movable do requires that more that fixed do.

For example, in the key of sol, of G, in what way does reading and singing the arpeggio Do-mi-sol-do-sol-mi-do help to understand interval or key more easily or clearly than singing Sol-si-ré-sol-ré-si-sol?

I don't mean to debate, but I am very interested to understand.

Originally Posted by Minniemay
I see no difference between teaching fixed do and between teaching note names.


Now that is food for a great deal of thought.

I suspect, though, that in countries where reading is based on the a-b-c nomenclature, movable do is used to compensate the deficiency of a-b-c, which is perhaps perfectly represented by the scale c-d-e-f-g-a-b.


Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
dumdumdiddle #1415614 04/12/10 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by dumdumdiddle

Musictuary,
Yes, I've noticed a huge difference in ear training ability as well as overall musicality. The solfege helps students interalize pitch. Singing the letter names of a song is in my opinion, pretty useless, as the notes B, C, D, E, and G all end in the long E sound.

For the purpose of the sound itself, that seems logical. Since I'm not a singer, if I must sing something, for any reason, I just hum or sing "la, la, la", or "dum dee dum dum". smile

But for the development of an excellent ear, I think nothing is better than playing brass in addition to piano (other than singing itself). This is no good for small children, but for middle-school age on, it's great, if the student can handle playing and practicing two instruments. The development of accurate pitch sense is a mysterious and unpredictable thing. I think it is singing itself, rather than what sounds are sung, that sensitizes the ear. When a singer has to enter with a note, it's pure pitch. It must be pre-heard. It's much the same on brass, since the buzzing of the lips is about 99% of it. The fingers (valves) are almost zero help, especially in the upper register.

I will say that I do teach about the 'Key of C', 'Key of G', 'Key of Am', as we move through the different 5-Finger patterns. This way they will have no trouble later identifying that C is 'do', D is 're', etc... They learn that a C chord is do-mi-sol, a G7 chord is ti-fa-sol.


Last edited by Gary D.; 04/12/10 02:13 AM.
Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415615 04/12/10 02:15 AM
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My other reservations about singing in solfege:

1) Modulations?

2) Chromatic passages? Half steps?

3) Atonal music?

Singing in letter names is awful, too. I'd much prefer singing in free syllables (La or Di) before attaching the lyrics. Solfege has its limitations, in my opinion.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415623 04/12/10 02:35 AM
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landorrano, if you have the strength, you might want to read This Interminable Thread About Fixed and Movable Do from a while back. smile Actually, it was an interesting discussion, and I think both sides learnt a bit.


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
landorrano #1415624 04/12/10 02:36 AM
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double post


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Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
Gary D. #1415630 04/12/10 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Gary D.


But for the development of an excellent ear, I think nothing is better than playing brass in addition to piano (other than singing itself). This is no good for small children, but for middle-school age on, it's great, if the student can handle playing and practicing two instruments. The development of accurate pitch sense is a mysterious and unpredictable thing. I think it is singing itself, rather than what sounds are sung, that sensitizes the ear. When a singer has to enter with a note, it's pure pitch. It must be pre-heard. It's much the same on brass, since the buzzing of the lips is about 99% of it. The fingers (valves) are almost zero help, especially in the upper register.






Very interesting, and very well put.

Originally Posted by currawong
landorrano, if you have the strength, you might want to read This Interminable Thread About Fixed and Movable Do from a while back. smile Actually, it was an interesting discussion, and I think both sides learnt a bit.


I don't know if I have the strength to read it twice!

Seriously, thanks, I'm going to have a good look later on when I have a little time.

Re: Another plug for teaching solfège
currawong #1415747 04/12/10 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by currawong
landorrano, if you have the strength, you might want to read This Interminable Thread About Fixed and Movable Do from a while back. smile Actually, it was an interesting discussion, and I think both sides learnt a bit.


I was going to suggest that too, then decided against it. smile


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