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#1473645 - 07/13/10 05:12 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: TimR]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
There is clearly confusion regarding what scale degree means. If landorrano and dumdumdiddle don't see a value in a child recognising that a melody creates the shape of scale degree 5 to 1 then they will not see a value in working in a system where scale degrees are the means of finding different shapes on the keyboard. Teachers who do perceive a value in having three year olds recognise tonal function will take a different approach.

It doesn't matter if it's called 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 or Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti or if it's called the seven colours of the rainbow or any other sequence of 7 things, it's about finding a way to describe contour that can occur on any pitch.

Landorrano, it's not my mission to persuade you. You asked for my reasoning, and my experience as a student, as a teacher and now as a parent are all in accord regarding this point: my goal is to have a uniform way of describing scale function, and fixed do (or any other kind of note naming system) does not meet this goal. Your goals are clearly not quite the same as mine, otherwise we would find some meeting ground, instead of your thorough incomprehension as to why I take the view I do.

Music is chock-a-block with absolutes (middle C is middle C and there ain't nothing you can do about it) and utter relativism (sometimes C is the tonic, sometimes C is the leading note, sometimes C is the subdominant, and so forth). I'm looking for a way of harnessing a child's natural inclination to find pattern by having a way of saying Tonic, Leading Note, Subdominant etc. in a single syllable such as Do, Ti, Fa etc. And I'm interested in whether there are any piano methods that use scale function as the starting point for learning.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1473666 - 07/13/10 05:46 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: Elissa Milne]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Your goals are clearly not quite the same as mine, otherwise we would find some meeting ground, instead of your thorough incomprehension as to why I take the view I do.


Well, I do think that we have a meeting ground. I am in agreement with what everything you are saying and with what you propose to do.

Really, I have no qualm with your manner to conceive things, quite the contrary. And I am not trying to convince you to abandon your plans and take up fixed-do solfège.

Only, I am quite sure that it is mistaken to think that fixed-do solfège is any less valuble than moveable-do solfège in bringing a child into the realm of scale degrees and functions.

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#1473674 - 07/13/10 06:01 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Ah, well now it is time for me to ask why *you* think that scale degree function is equally prioritised in fixed-do? My current perspective is that fixed-do is a note-naming system, as well as implying a certain teaching approach. I am suspecting that it is the APPROACH that you find covers the scale degree function - am I getting close here?
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1474014 - 07/14/10 07:49 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: Elissa Milne]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
There are two sides of the fixed-do coin.

There is fixed-do as nomenclature.

Then there is fixed-do solfège, which is the study of elements permitting to read, write, play or sing a score. Reading, writing etc, have to be understood in the broadest musical sense, not simply being able to name a note.

On the one hand, with bémols (flats), dièses (sharps), and bécarres (naturals), there are dozens of notes names, as there are with the a-b-c nomenclature.

On the other hand, the practise in fixed-do solfège to pronounce the name of notes while leaving out alterations and accidentals, expresses the structure of each tonality as a scale of seven degrees, each with a specific function within the tonality. For this reason, syllables like di, ra, ri, have no place.

In every instance a note is a specific tone but it is at the same time a degree within a tonality.

Thus, it is not simply a question of approach, of a way of using solfège that deals with scale degree function. Quite the contrary, this is the starting point of solfège.

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#1474033 - 07/14/10 08:36 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano

Thus, it is not simply a question of approach, of a way of using solfège that deals with scale degree function. Quite the contrary, this is the starting point of solfège.


I'm trying to understand, don't want to miss an approach that works. I've found movable do enormously useful personally, but then my needs may not be the same.

Just as an example. In your house, if you live in the US, there are a large number of 60 Hz pitch sources because of the electric power. Your older fluourescent lights, your oven, your toaster, etc., all buzz at 60 hz, though we normally don't pay attention. That note is halfway between B (roughly 62 Hz) and Bb (about 58 Hz). It doesn't have a name, either letter or solfege. If you had to, I guess you could call it B for convenience, which would be si or ti in fixed do, but it really isn't.

If I tell a child to start on that note and sing Frere Jacques, she will sing do-re-mi-do. Easily. If I tell her to sing Three Blind mice, she will sing mi-re-do. Same thing, no problems. That conveys the tonal center starting with a random note, or in this case not even a note.

It seems to me that doing the same thing with either fixed do or letter names would require an extra intellectual step. Doesn't it mean you need to understand key signature and a bit of theory?
_________________________
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#1474039 - 07/14/10 08:52 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
Syboor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/01/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Amsterdam
> "On the other hand, the practise in fixed-do solfège to pronounce the name of notes while leaving out alterations and accidentals, expresses the structure of each tonality as a scale of seven degrees, each with a specific function within the tonality. For this reason, syllables like di, ra, ri, have no place."

Please don't think that syllables like di, ra, ri are common place in moveable do! The "special" syllables used for diatonic music are "re", "le" and "te" in the do-based minor system, OR "li" and "si" in the la-based minor (but you only use one of these systems, not both).

"di", "ra", "ri" would only be needed in music with chromatic passing tones, secondary dominants or other non-diatonic tones. And because these notes are so rare and special, they trigger a strong expectation of half step resolution. If you sing "fa", you know it is business as usual. If you sing "fi", you very strongly expect it to resolve to "so", and you might even hear the V/V chord (re-fi-la) in your head and expect a half cadence to V.


Edited by Syboor (07/14/10 10:32 AM)

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#1474275 - 07/14/10 03:49 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: Syboor]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Landorrano, then I see no difference between the two systems apart from the immensely significant point that when one uses fixed do as nomenclature it would be confusing to then use the same syllables to indicate a function that is transposable. Thanks for that clarification regarding the two aspects of the system you are using.
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1474608 - 07/15/10 02:48 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: Elissa Milne]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
I am happy to have clarified you.

I agree that it is immensely significant, the dual nature of do-ré-mi. Although it is in no way confusing.

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#1474609 - 07/15/10 02:58 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Hahaha!! Well, obviously not to you.... but I suspect others will beg to differ!!!
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1474617 - 07/15/10 03:30 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: Elissa Milne]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
Hahaha!! Well, obviously not to you.... but I suspect others will beg to differ!!!


No problem! Or as they say, no problemo!

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#1474630 - 07/15/10 04:05 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: TimR]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: TimR

It seems to me that doing the same thing with either fixed do or letter names would require an extra intellectual step. Doesn't it mean you need to understand key signature and a bit of theory?


I want to wrap up the discussion, or at least my part in it. But I want to say a word in response to your question.

One thing that has impressed me about the do-ré-mi nomenclature is the ease with which children learn it. "Do ré mi fa sol la si do do si la sol fa mi ré do". I am sure that DumDumDiddle will confirm.

If you like, it is a language, and once inside of this language a child moves freely, and immediately begins to sense the structure and to use it to his advantage.

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#1474699 - 07/15/10 08:26 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3006
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: landorrano
One thing that has impressed me about the do-ré-mi nomenclature is the ease with which children learn it. "Do ré mi fa sol la si do do si la sol fa mi ré do". I am sure that DumDumDiddle will confirm.

If you like, it is a language, and once inside of this language a child moves freely, and immediately begins to sense the structure and to use it to his advantage.


Yeah, I don't want to beat a sick horse either.

I agree with the ease. For me personally do-mi-sol means something independent of C, E, G, in that it expresses an interval relationship between notes. I can hear it, I can sing it, independent of the starting note or key.

D-F#-A does the same thing, just as fast. But it took me years to get to that point, whereas do-mi-sol made sense the first time I heard it. YMMV.

I think that re-fa-la (fixed do) would do the same thing eventually as well. But it requires learning. It is not intuitive - right now it means nothing to me.

D-F#-A actually does a little more than do-mi-sol. Though I don't have perfect pitch, I've played and sung D-F#-A so many times that my fingers can find it and I can usually sing it cold pretty close. So in a way it's more precise, but that also limits the range it applies to.

My child is in school choir learning movable do. She says it does not make sense to her, do should be C. Movable do does not help her to sightread, whereas it is the basis for my approach. She is an ear person, just memorized the entire VBS repertoire in one sitting listening to a CD, having never seen the sheet music. I am an eye person, if I can't visualize it I have great difficulty. I don't understand this part of it, seems like it should be the other way around.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1474734 - 07/15/10 10:01 AM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
Landorrano, the things that you are studying are interesting and valuable so personally I am glad that you are sharing them. There are aspects to music that maybe get neglected, especially for the combined way they are (not?) being taught. What I object to, however, is that you state absolutely and in a voice of authority that other approaches are bad or wrong. You can only do so if you have studied these other approaches. If you are a musician or teacher with vast experience in music on a practical level - single instruments, orchestra, choir, teaching a variety of students with different abilities - then you will have experienced what works where, and how. But afaik, that is not your background. Like me, you are a student who is still learning. You have learned some poweful things that don't seem to be taught much so you are sharing them and that part is fantastic. But when you dismiss what others know without actually being familiar with them, that is wrong. It is especially wrong when you sound like an authority because you risk leading people astray who will think that you know more than you do. In my experience, those who know a lot are the least likely to say so - they are humbled by the knowledge of just how vast and varied it is.

Music has this powerful way in which things work together. One thing has two or three faces and they all fit together. The system of learning that you are following manages to put these things together in a simple way, so that they are real to a student and accessible in real time. They are not learning *about* it in a book with paper, divorced from the actual music they are playing or singing. This theory is real and alive *during* singing or playing. There is a wholeness to it. I do understand your enthusiasm and urgency for bringing it across. However, it is not the only way that it can be studied.

I have learned it through movable do solfege, but in a manner that when I go to pitch names the two aspects are combined in exactly the same way. If I sing pitch names I also hear the movable do solfege underneath which gives me degrees and the functional quality of those degrees. If I sing movable do solfege, the letter pitch-names are sitting underneath. Since I am able to do this, I can also see the strengths and weaknesses of yours, as well as mine. When I consider it then I'm also looking at situations in choir, composition exercises, where it's put into practice. That is where I am coming from. My own teacher can move from fixed do solfege to movable do solfege, can use letter or solfege names (fixed), in the blink of an eye. I am still weighing all of this, but will absolutely not ever say this or that is wrong. It is this dismissing of other systems that I object to.

Really, to know what might be better where, if there is a better, we would need to hear from someone who has mastered both approaches and has full knowledge and experience in music. That is not me and it is not you. Personally I would be happy if you shared what you know without stating the wrongness of things you haven't studied. Too many people do that, imho. Music exists by itself, and can be approached in various ways.

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#1474935 - 07/15/10 03:18 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: keystring]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2443
Loc: France
Keystring, I assure you that I am humble. Really, I am. Probably the most humble in the world!

Seriously, though, I haven't said that there is anything wrong about moveable-do solfège, or anything else. Neither do I think that there is anything wrong with moveable-do solfège.

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#1474939 - 07/15/10 03:25 PM Re: Movable Do Piano Methods? [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11190
Loc: Canada
I wasn't sure, Landorrano. You had seemed to draw conclusions about moveable do and making direct statements and that made me uncomfortable. What you are presenting adds a new dimension to what I know and is both useful and interesting. I can see a reason for moveable too, however, and maybe it also depends how it is taught and what is done with it. Thanks for responding. smile

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