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#1756459 - 09/21/11 09:06 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Nikolas]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7299
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Ok, I will repeat my post. I've NEVER EVER heard of the movable "So" (or "Do"). I now understand what you people mean but I've never ever encountered it here in Greece (or Italy in fact as far as I know).

It is interesting to learn about the differing approaches to music study. Growing up, our public schools were teaching moveable Do. The first encounter I had with fixed Do was in college. But privately, both my piano and violin teacher were using A-B-C; my violin teacher was an immigrant from Riga, Latvia.
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#1756523 - 09/21/11 11:05 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Jaak]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: Jaak
I prefer ABC system because, in some way it is easier


I am curious, in what way is it easier ?

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#1756539 - 09/21/11 11:25 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: Liezl Tajanlangit
so basically fixed do is ok but movable isnt?
If you were to take one person's opinion (mine) as the absolute truth, then yes. But why would you take only my opinion?
Listen to everybody, consider, and then make up your own mind based on both what you need to do and on what you've heard.
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#1756562 - 09/21/11 12:02 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Fixed-do makes my head cramp. If you're raised with it, I imagine it's fine.

A student should be taught the system that is the most common in the circles they are most likely to move it.
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#1756572 - 09/21/11 12:19 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: J Cortese]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: J Cortese
Fixed-do makes my head cramp. If you're raised with it, I imagine it's fine.
There's nothing in it to cramp anybody's head; it's just other names for ABC. Between fixed-do and ABC, absolutely nothing changes about the way you think - you just have to talk funny. smile
It's only the difference between fixed systems and movable systems that can cause problems, if a person is going to have problems at all.

Switching from ABC to fixed-do is like learning to count to ten in two different languages - the meaning doesn't change, only the sounds. With movable systems, the meaning does change.
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#1756573 - 09/21/11 12:21 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: J Cortese]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: J Cortese
A student should be taught the system that is the most common in the circles they are most likely to move in.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. If you teach a student the best note-naming system but none of the people around him are going to be using it, what's the point?
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#1756599 - 09/21/11 01:00 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Nikolas]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Nikolas


I'm obviously missing something here...


The same confusion all over again....

sorry, mate, but at least you've learned something. smile
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#1756603 - 09/21/11 01:04 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: keystring]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: keystring

The "weakness" somebody mentioned about movable Do is simply that it represents one kind of music. There is music that is based on different kinds of scales such as blues scales, or uses whole tone and octatonic scales when it is atonal which are outside of the Do Re Mi kind of scale system. If you teach music that doesn't fit major and minor scales, that's the weakness. People are divided about this.


I found solfege really helpful for understanding the blues scales (which in my mind go: do ma fa fi so ta do - but to each their own). With music that shifts tonality quickly (e.g. jazz) it does get limiting. For some music moveable solfa just isn't going to work. Just like no one counting system will work for all rhythms.
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#1756631 - 09/21/11 01:42 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: ten left thumbs]
keystring Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
[quote=keystring]

I found solfege really helpful for understanding the blues scales (which in my mind go: do ma fa fi so ta do - but to each their own). With music that shifts tonality quickly (e.g. jazz) it does get limiting. For some music moveable solfa just isn't going to work. Just like no one counting system will work for all rhythms.

The solfege that I learned in the early 1960's is the one that predates Kodaly's adaptation. I can see (hear) that what you wrote would work, because I can instantly feel the tonic, the subdominant and the dominant in those syllables.

In the solfege that I learned, you become aware primarily to intervals which also give you a feeling of the degree place within the scale and also functional role. For example, the dominant note So has that steady secondary resting place feeling which also wants to fall to Do. Fa and Mi are closer than a semitone with Fa wanting to slip to Mi as it does when a Dom7 resolves. It's the same thing that we learn in voice leading for four part harmony. It is more than just intervals or even degree names in how it was used originally.

I see the modern system as a kind of hybrid. Modern musicians are used to pitch names and intervals without thinking of voice leading (fa to mi) and functionality. I can see how this would work for a scale type like the blues. The syllables no longer carry the nature of that particular scale except perhaps in Do and Sol (does it work for Fa?). But it does tell us where we are in space tonically. The blues scale is already a compromise, come to think of it, because instruments like the piano cannot do bent pitches, and our notation system has no room for them.

Thank you for that angle in regards to the blues scale.

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#1756765 - 09/21/11 05:08 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: keystring]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: keystring

The solfege that I learned in the early 1960's is the one that predates Kodaly's adaptation. I can see (hear) that what you wrote would work, because I can instantly feel the tonic, the subdominant and the dominant in those syllables.

In the solfege that I learned, you become aware primarily to intervals which also give you a feeling of the degree place within the scale and also functional role. For example, the dominant note So has that steady secondary resting place feeling which also wants to fall to Do. Fa and Mi are closer than a semitone with Fa wanting to slip to Mi as it does when a Dom7 resolves. It's the same thing that we learn in voice leading for four part harmony. It is more than just intervals or even degree names in how it was used originally.



Hi Keystring, You've got deeper into this than I ever did. I just looked up wikipedia on solfege and found I could use the syllables to help me internalise some scales that were new to me (pentatonic, blues). I found it incredibly helpful, perhaps because numbers feel impersonal to me and I confuse them easily.

Returning to the original question, I have found moveable solfege very helpful, and for this reason (if there was a choice) I would prefer to call the absolute pitches A, B, C, etc, and leave do re me for relative pitch. But that is just one opinion. As has already been stated, it is probably more important to follow local conventions, whatever they are.
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#1756792 - 09/21/11 05:38 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: ten left thumbs]
John v.d.Brook Offline
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Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7299
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I am awestruck that using the first syllable of each line of a hymn tune to John the Baptist could be imbued with such lofty attributes as solfege seems to have. Amazing! Guido was some genius.
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#1756797 - 09/21/11 05:47 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: ten left thumbs]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA

Quote:
I would prefer to call the absolute pitches A, B, C, etc, and leave do re me for relative pitch.



Me too!
I like the absolute pitches ABC and the move-able-do for relative pitch. I do not really understand the educational need of fix-do system.


Edited by ezpiano.org (09/21/11 05:48 PM)
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#1756803 - 09/21/11 05:53 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: ezpiano.org]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5209
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org

Quote:
I would prefer to call the absolute pitches A, B, C, etc, and leave do re me for relative pitch.



Me too!
I like the absolute pitches ABC and the move-able-do for relative pitch. I do not really understand the educational need of fix-do system.
It's just an issue of naming the notes. You call it A, I call it La... Big deal... wink
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#1756817 - 09/21/11 06:11 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I am awestruck that using the first syllable of each line of a hymn tune to John the Baptist could be imbued with such lofty attributes as solfege seems to have. Amazing! Guido was some genius.

Well, of course Guido didn't do it alone. wink The system that he built on had been developing for some 600 years or more and had some of its roots in Ancient Greece. It continued developing after him. It's kind of cool how politics plays into everything. If they had not been trying to unify Europe into the newly created Holy Roman Empire and searching for a way to freeze music on paper so everyone would be chanting the same thing, his invention might have been ignored. As usual it was the right thing at the right time noticed by the right powerful people.

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#1756825 - 09/21/11 06:26 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: John v.d.Brook]
landorrano Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I am awestruck that using the first syllable of each line of a hymn tune to John the Baptist could be imbued with such lofty attributes as solfege seems to have. Amazing! Guido was some genius.


Yes, Guido was a genius. What he did was not the ruse of a choirmaster just trying to get his monks to sing in tune. Just have a look at the words: REsonare, SOLve ... we're not talking O bla di, O bla dah ! These syllables were undoubtedly embued with profound meaning in the middle ages. No accident that Sol, coming from the idea of resolution, of cleansing, or purifying, and itself meaning the sun, is the dominant. The creation of this nomenclature is associated with a theorhetical mastery of scales, of modulations, of a relationship between major and minor, and the development of notation.


Edited by landorrano (09/21/11 06:28 PM)

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#1756827 - 09/21/11 06:29 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: John v.d.Brook]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5897
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
It's just an issue of naming the notes. You call it A, I call it La... Big deal... wink
The "big deal" is that when I use La it means the 6th degree of the scale, NOT A. (unless I'm in C major)
In an ideal world we would have one system of naming notes, with singable syllables. We would have another system of naming scale degrees, also with singable syllables (different ones!). Those, like landorrano, who can't see the point in singing generalised scale degrees in another context, in addition to absolute pitch, could ignore them. And we wouldn't be having these circular discussions. smile
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I am awestruck that using the first syllable of each line of a hymn tune to John the Baptist could be imbued with such lofty attributes as solfege seems to have. Amazing! Guido was some genius.
Well, you have to admit it was a good idea. As to the "lofty attributes" of solfege or solfa, fixed or movable - well, it all depends what you do with it, doesn't it.
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#1756832 - 09/21/11 06:36 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: landorrano

Yes, Guido was a genius. What he did was not the ruse of a choirmaster just trying to get his monks to sing in tune. Just have a look at the words: REsonare, SOLve ... we're not talking O bla di, O bla dah ! These syllables were undoubtedly embued with profound meaning in the middle ages.

No, they were not, and Guido did not do this alone. The fact that "sol" means sun in some language is a coincidence. There were additional meanings, but this was not one. In the preceding time there was a belief in the sacredness of three-ness, there were beliefs in pure harmonies which is why fifths (including parallel fifths) were used, etc. Guido also did not have a choice for the wording of his chants. Liturgy was set in stone. In fact, the chants were set in stone - able to be embellished but not altered.

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#1756834 - 09/21/11 06:42 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: landorrano]
david_a Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 2913
Originally Posted By: landorrano
The creation of this nomenclature is associated with a theorhetical mastery of scales, of modulations, of a relationship between major and minor, and the development of notation.
None (or very little) of that existed when the system was invented. There was no major, no minor, scales as we know them did not exist, modulation certainly did not exist since harmony itself (in the sense we use the word) hardly even existed. The fact that a set of syllables has turned out to be convenient for those uses is pure luck. (And there's nothing wrong with that.)
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#1756836 - 09/21/11 06:47 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: keystring]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: keystring
The fact that "sol" means sun in some language is a coincidence. There were additional meanings, but this was not one.


I can't agree, it isn't in just any old language that "sol" means sun, it is latin.

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#1756839 - 09/21/11 06:49 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: david_a]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: david_a
None (or very little) of that existed when the system was invented. There was no major, no minor, scales as we know them did not exist, modulation certainly did not exist since harmony itself (in the sense we use the word) hardly even existed. The fact that a set of syllables has turned out to be convenient for those uses is pure luck. (And there's nothing wrong with that.)


But it didn't simply "turn out" that way, it seems that Guido himself did important work on these questions.

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#1756844 - 09/21/11 07:04 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: currawong]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Originally Posted By: currawong
Those, like landorrano, who can't see the point in singing generalised scale degrees in another context, in addition to absolute pitch, could ignore them.


Present !

I'd like to say though, in my defense, that I have never said anything of the sort. I have never expressed the idea that moveable-do solfège is useless. But I insist that fixed-do solfège does indeed treat the problem of scale degrees.

Originally Posted By: currawong

In an ideal world we would have one system of naming notes, with singable syllables. We would have another system of naming scale degrees, also with singable syllables (different ones!).


SO you'd like a musical esperanto, would you!

Seriously, I admit that I don't consider it ideal, having a unique system for the entire world. I don't see any problem with there being different systems used in different countries. It is a cultural wealth, not a handicap. But I am sure that you agree.





Edited by landorrano (09/21/11 07:07 PM)

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#1756867 - 09/21/11 07:43 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
To get back to Liezl's quandary. It appears to me that this child's parents are asking her to teach piano using the do-ré-mi names for notes. I gather that they are not asking her to give them a solfège class, so the question of which solfège is moot.

So should Liezl give these European parents what they want ? My view is: yes or no or maybe. If she "speaks do-ré-mi" fluently enough, she might. If she isn't fluent in do-ré-mi, she might anyway, in the spirit of adventure, and she might end up becoming fond of this language even if it rests for her a second language.

Or she can say no and assure the parents that which is indeed true, that the kids will have no problem picking up do-ré-mi the day that the family moves back to Do-ré-mi-land.

Will teaching these kids in do-ré-mi in a country where A-B-C is used provoke a problem for the kids ? I hardly think so. Any problems that surface later on will be due to the quality of the work done by the teacher on one hand and by the students on the other, not because of the terminology.

She also mentoned a concern about method books. There is a the Fritz Emonts series called, I think, the European Method, which has all of the text in German, English and French on every page. "My First year of Piano", "My Second Year of Piano" and so on is a French series that I believe is also published in English (as well as Spanish, Italian, Japanese). These method books are written in such a way as to permit their use in both do-ré-mi and A-B-C.


Edited by landorrano (09/21/11 07:59 PM)

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#1756886 - 09/21/11 08:05 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: david_a]
J Cortese Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 357
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: david_a
Originally Posted By: J Cortese
Fixed-do makes my head cramp. If you're raised with it, I imagine it's fine.
There's nothing in it to cramp anybody's head; it's just other names for ABC. Between fixed-do and ABC, absolutely nothing changes about the way you think - you just have to talk funny. smile


I find it useful to have a system for absolute pitch, and another system for relative pitch. It's very useful to think in terms of "do" being simply the tonic for any given key.

Again, if you are raised with another way of doing it, that's just how you do it. And as long as you "speak the same language" as most of the people you are likely to interact with, then no prob. If your interaction circles widen, then it's in your best interest to learn both systems.

ETA: However, learning both systems becomes more complex, and liable to cause brain cramposity, if the same words mean two different things. It's not like learning a language where the word for "Friday" is "Gwener." It's more like learning a language where the word for "Friday" is "Wednesday."


Edited by J Cortese (09/21/11 08:12 PM)
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#1756892 - 09/21/11 08:12 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
keystring Online   content
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Liezl, you might want to know that those members who are piano teachers identify themselves as such on the bottom of their post. I am not a piano teacher but I am a former teacher who has taught publicly and privately. I have not experienced the ins and outs of teaching piano.

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#1756893 - 09/21/11 08:13 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: landorrano]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11548
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: david_a
None (or very little) of that existed when the system was invented. There was no major, no minor, scales as we know them did not exist, modulation certainly did not exist since harmony itself (in the sense we use the word) hardly even existed. The fact that a set of syllables has turned out to be convenient for those uses is pure luck. (And there's nothing wrong with that.)


But it didn't simply "turn out" that way, it seems that Guido himself did important work on these questions.

What work, precisely, did he do?

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#1756898 - 09/21/11 08:19 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
landorrano Offline
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Registered: 02/26/06
Posts: 2457
Loc: France
Keystring, I don't want to go on about this, at least not in this thread.

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#1756900 - 09/21/11 08:21 PM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
keystring Online   content
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This is veering slightly off topic but I thought I should mention it. One of the harmony theory books (Sarnecki) recommended for the Canadian RCM has recently been revised. Added to Roman Numerals for analysis, they have added figured bass *and* the movable do solfege symbols. There is a very specific role, and it is the one that I learned as a child - voice leading.

What I am curious about since Canada is bilingual is whether there is a French version of Sarnecki, and what they do? Because in French Canada the solfege names (fixed) are used. Our pieces are named both as "Re majeur" and "D major". Theory exams are bilingual. So have they implemented this as well? And do they find a problem with this "Friday is Wednesday" phenomenon?


Edited by keystring (09/21/11 08:21 PM)

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#1757045 - 09/22/11 01:04 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Jaak]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: Jaak

I try to explain why to use ABC and so on. But if someone especially wants Do-Re-Mi I do not refuse.

GL
Jaak


What are the explanations you would use?

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#1757048 - 09/22/11 01:11 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: landorrano]
Liezl Tajanlangit Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/06/10
Posts: 43
Originally Posted By: Jaak

I try to explain why to use ABC and so on. But if someone especially wants Do-Re-Mi I do not refuse.

GL
Jaak


What are the explanations you would use?



Originally Posted By: landorrano
Originally Posted By: Liezl Tajanlangit

Teaching bot to your students is best but what if the student wants only one and claims that they have come from Europe and they all follow Do-Re-Mi


Liezl, is the parent asking you to give solfège lessons ? As you have written it it appears that the parent is asking that you to give piano lessons using Do-ré-mi nomenclature but that he is not asking you to do solfège.


No they aren't asking for solfege but they want do re mi.. apparently one of their son is taking guitar and will train for ABRSM. His mom says that the institute he will train in claims that ABRSM does do-re-mi but i clearly remember putting in one of my student in ABRSM with an ABC foundation :S
Must be the institute teacher...

I don't mind teaching do-re-mi or abc. i'm fine with both,, but to be honest i'm used to fixed do rather than moveable do.. I do understand it but i will have to work more on that smile

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#1757077 - 09/22/11 02:58 AM Re: Do-Re-Mi or ABC [Re: Liezl Tajanlangit]
ten left thumbs Offline
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Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: Liezl Tajanlangit



No they aren't asking for solfege but they want do re mi.. apparently one of their son is taking guitar and will train for ABRSM. His mom says that the institute he will train in claims that ABRSM does do-re-mi but i clearly remember putting in one of my student in ABRSM with an ABC foundation :S
Must be the institute teacher...


Leizl, I'll repeat myself. If someone says something like "ABRSM will use do re me" it's important to pin them down and find out if they mean fixed doreme or moveable doreme. The difficulty is they will probably not understand your question. But you are going to have to pin them down and find out exactly what they mean.

For what it's worth, I don't remember any solfa from my ABRSM (UK) experience.
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