Solfege

WHAT IS EAR TRAINING?

Ear training is the practice of developing/improving your sense of pitch, intervals, melody, chords, rhythms and harmony. Great singers sing in tune. When someone says “Wow, what a great ear”, it doesn’t mean the singer has good hearing. It means they have a trained ear (brain, really) and they are able to understand and sing pitches with great accuracy, to hear harmonies and improvise by hearing “inside the chords”.

WHAT IS SOLFEGE?

Solfege is a music education method used to teach pitch and sight singing. Syllables are assigned to the notes of the scale and enable the musician to audiate, or mentally hear, the pitches of a piece of music which they are seeing for the first time.

MAJOR SCALE WITH SOLFEGE SYLLABLES

Here are 7 unique pitches in a scale.

solfege-1

RELATE SOLFEGE TO SCALE DEGREES

Do is Tonic – Tonal center, note of final resolution

Re is Supertonic – One whole step above the tonic

Mi is Mediant – Midway between tonic and dominant

Fa is Subdominant – Lower dominant, prefix “sub” is Latin for “under” or “beneath”

Sol is Dominant – 2nd in importance to the tonic

La is Submediant – Lower mediant, midway between tonic and subdominant

Ti is Leading Tone – Melodically leads to tonic, One half step below tonic

Do is Tonic – Tonal center, note of final resolution

PRACTICE I

Solfege Practice Video Part I

Practice with a piano or virtual keyboard. Play the major scale in the key of C as you sing Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do. Sing up and down the scale.

Once you can sing the scale in tune by yourself (without the help of the piano), try moving around the scale in stepwise motion.

solfege-practice-i

You can make a Solfege chart like the one used in the tutorial. This way, you can practice the exercises at your own pace. You may need to move slower at first and that’s ok.

Here’s a really good Virtual Piano

http://virtualpiano.net/

Credit: http://www.howtosingsmarter.com