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#935216 - 08/13/08 03:43 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Boira Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/09/07
Posts: 472
Loc: Barcelona
Sorry, double post

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#935217 - 08/13/08 04:39 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
Boira,

Thanks very much for posting that example of how modulations are taught using 'fixed do' note names! It's really not so different. I am curious about the ear training aspects of identifying modulations as well.

Going back to that page from Eastman that I linked---as someone used to moveable do, I find this argument to be a powerful one:

"Fixed do solfège is incredibly flexible: it can be used for ANY music that can be notated on lines and spaces. (In other words, you don’t have to learn a new system once you start studying post-tonal, Renaissance, jazz, or non-Western musics.)"

If the reason we are using the syllables is that they are so good for singing, why shouldn't we learn to use them in a way that allows us to apply them to as much music as possible?

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#935218 - 08/13/08 05:25 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
I am curious whether you guys process that melody in the same order or the opposite order that I do? I just sight sang through the page. What happens with me is that I will sing the newly sharped note by singing it a semitone higher because it has been sharped, and a second after singing it, I *hear* that Re (D) is now the tonic. Then in movabla Do my mind would assign the name "Do" to the D. In fact, these days there is no name given, I simply hear that there is a new tonic and I perceived the music that way. It happens in a split second without a break.

Now for me, I produce the sound, and it is the hearing of the sound that makes me recognize the new tonic. All my training was without written music so I was very much like the Medieaval singers.

For you guys, do you first derive mentally that this must be a new tonic, and then sing it as a new tonic (from visual to recognition to ear ), or do you sing the sharped note because it is sharped, and hear that there is a new tonic, and then assign the tonic to a new place (from ear to recognition giving meaning to visual)?

Can anyone follow what I'm saying? I think this is where the inner process may be different for us.

Mine is done without analysis and as an automatic reflex. It is physical. But this works best for voice, and would not work well for modulations and strange kinds of scales like octatonic etc.

 Quote:
.... but you 'see' the accidental, you feel it and you know it's there. You don't have room enough to speak it out loud, but you know it is there.
Yes! That's the missing link. The fixed Do person says La but things La sharp, and the letter name person can similarly think A sharp. Movable Do is a way of fixing the awareness of that modulation by giving it names, but we can create that awareness through the multiple approach you're getting, Boira. I've been wondering about this ever since January when somebody explained that the sharps and flats are not named, but they still seemed to be able to read with understanding.

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#935219 - 08/13/08 06:15 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I am curious whether you guys process that melody in the same order or the opposite order that I do?[/b]
I learned to play that particular Bach invention several years ago, so I used the printed notes to cue my aural memory. As I 'listened' to the piece, I would pause at spots and ask myself, for example, "Does it sound to me as if Sol (G) is really the tonic here, as it is labeled?" If I wasn't sure, then sometimes I would 'rewind' and check again.

There was also an interplay with my theoretical knowledge even though I was relying primarily on my ear. For example, in bar 15, it didn't sound to me as if a modulation to D minor had occurred until the end of the bar. So I switched to my analytical mindset and thought: well, the key is A minor at the beginning of bar 15, and the C# one half-beat before the end of the bar is the first note in the bar that is not in the A natural minor scale, so it's no wonder that I continue to hear A minor up to that point. And I moved on and decided not to nitpick until now. \:D

If I had not played the piece before, I think I would have had a hard time 'auralizing' both voices at once, which would have meant relying more heavily on theory and conscious analysis out of necessity. I can't say for sure.

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#935220 - 08/13/08 06:28 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
As long as I'm nitpicking, there are some other spots where I disagree with the analysis. In bar 19, I view beat 3 as a weak D minor cadence (VII-i). If it's F major, then why would there be a D in the upper voice? Similarly, the B-flat at the end of the bar contradicts the C major analysis. I view the first beat of bar 20 as an F major cadence (vii-I). Then you get some B naturals and can start talking about C major.

But I digress.

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#935221 - 08/13/08 06:30 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
It is different for us, then. There was no analysis at all - I would sing the notes, somewhere near the subconscious something was hearing the modulation, and a second later my naming of the notes would have shifted. I was not even aware that I had renamed G as the new tonic.

This is still very much part of me, but I can and do analyze in a conventional manner. I can shift back and forth as well as integrate.

Yes, I noticed that too about bar 15. I din't think about it but I would wonder why a note saying that Re is now the tonic would come as early as it did. Of course there is a point where the music diddle-daddles its way into a modulation and it's sort of in transition. That's how I used to hear it, "diddle-daddle into transition". ;\)

I think I'm coming into it from opposite ends and walking the opposite direction from everyone else in order to have the whole picture. It's sort of disconcerting. :rolleyes:

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#935222 - 08/13/08 12:38 PM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Of course there is a point where the music diddle-daddles its way into a modulation and it's sort of in transition.[/b]
This is another one of the arguments I have heard (outside of this thread) for fixed do. With modulations, there is often no clear cutoff point to shift 'do'. Usually there is at least one note/chord, and sometimes a whole span of them, that can be interpreted in either key. During the transition, there is no one right way to choose the (moveable do) syllables. With fixed do, there is only one way to choose the syllables for any modulation. (In the special case of a score for a transposing instrument, you would have to make a decision at the beginning of the score on whether to sing the syllables for the written pitch or the concert pitch.)

Of course, some moveable do users would say that is good to have more than one way to sing a modulation, because you can use that fact to teach yourself to hear the modulation in more than one way. It's one of those bug/feature things.

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#935223 - 08/15/08 11:11 PM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
I've spoken to someone who studied the Kodály system in Hungary, where it was developed. She said that in the upper levels, students sing with both moveable do and letter names. They use the Dutch letter names, which are like German letter names except without the H (for the Dutch, B represents the same note as in English).
 Code:
Naturals:
C   D   E   F   G   A   B

Sharps (add -is):
Cis Dis Eis Fis Gis Ais Bis

Flats (add -es, except for A):
Ces Des Es  Fes Ges As  Bes

Double-sharps: add -is to sharps

Double-flats: add -es to flats
The pronunciation of these names in Hungary (and presumably in the Netherlands) is not quite like English. A is pronounced 'ah'; the vowel sounds for the other naturals are closer to English short E (eh) or Spanish E than English long E (ee); G is pronounced with a 'hard' G sound as in 'gift' instead of a 'soft' G sound as in 'George'.

In contrast to standard English note names, these names have the advantage that all the notes except double-sharps and double-flats are one syllable. Unfortunately, if the names used for singing, most of the flats are indistinguishable from the naturals until the final S is heard, and if the next note is a C of some kind, then it is never really clear whether the final S was present or not. Also, if you sing several A's or E's in a row, separating them requires using a glottal stop .

Anyway, I thought this was interesting as another attempt at chromatic syllables in a fixed system. In my opinion, it doesn't quite work for singing and it shows why using only seven syllables (whether letters or solfege) may in fact be the best we can do for a fixed system.

I found a post on another forum that asked, why don't we have a system for singing with twelve unique syllables, one for each of the twelve 'piano key' pitches within an octave? Apparently such systems have been tried in the past and never caught on. Maybe the human brain just can't handle twelve unrelated syllables at once.

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#935224 - 08/16/08 06:00 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11737
Loc: Canada
You would need more than 12 syllables since C# and Db are not the same pitch. ;\) If you go too much by pitch name then you lose the flavour of the notes.

My F in C major is flatter than my F in F major, because in the first, the F is the fourth degree which hugs tightly to the E. I was corrected as having made a mistake if that distinction wasn't made.

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#935225 - 08/16/08 06:32 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Late Bloomer Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/24/08
Posts: 70
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
You would need more than 12 syllables since C# and Db are not the same pitch. ;\) [/b]
I knew you were going to say that. \:\)

One of my music teachers once said that learning to play a string instrument in the violin family would do more for my ear than any solfege system. Someday I will follow his advice.

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#935226 - 09/30/08 03:42 PM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
solfeggio Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Goa India
I am happy to learn the Solfege(solfeggio) is a hot topic in the western world. I was surfing the Net regarding Kodaly method and accidentally tripped on the Piano World Forums.On page 2 the post says: "When you had to sing different pitches with the same names, did you find it confusingat first. If so,didyou have exercises or drills to help make youmore comfortable?
Here in Goa India we follow Albert Lavignac's Singing Exercises, a Henry Lemoine & Co. Paris publication. I differs from Eslava's Vocal Method(Australian edition in that you find a scale,say G major followed by about 4 exercises to drive hame the point. The first 80 odd exercises teach the basic concepts (just like Eslava) then the sharps F,C, G, etc followed by the flats B, E, A etc, progressively then the G major scale and exercises,E minor scale and exercises, F major scale and exercises. The book can be used for fixed Do as well as for moveable Do work. However there are no instructions regarding the use of any method. Another book that is in our institutional library is Eitor Pozzoli's Solfegi Parlati e Cantati, a Ricordi publication, in 2 volumes.
Those looking for a good mov. Do method book will find Thomas Cassidy's "Sight Singing Made Easy". I have found the book without the cover and hence am unable to provide other details.
William Appleby's "Sing at Sight" Oxford University Press is another fantastic 24 page book.

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#935227 - 09/30/08 06:31 PM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
Gary D. Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4812
Loc: South Florida
Let me ask a basic question, which is really what continues to baffle me:

For those of you who have studied any sight-singing system, or passed a course, what usable skills did it give you would not have had otherwise?
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#935228 - 10/01/08 09:41 AM Re: How is 'fixed do' solfege taught outside the U.S.?
solfeggio Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Goa India
Remember,solfeggio is a singing exercise and so it helps you first of all to sing just by looking at the sheet music in front of you, no need of a piano or any other instrument (this is what usuallly happens around here).Secondly there is spoken solfeggio which does wonders for rhythmic training/reading. And most of all my sightreading has vastly improved.
Basically my intention of posting on this sight is to get in touch with Kodaly teachers and benefit from them.

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