Solfege is actually the center of a lot of controvercy
in music education
circles. Some teachers
believe that the time it takes to memorize
syllables is wasted: it could be spent on actual ear training
. This is why many music classes
and vocal coaches
use the numerical sight-singing
system instead. The down-side to this is that solfeggio
is more accurate: it provides distinct monosyllables
for the entire chromatic scale
Each syllable is a half-step higher or lower than the one before: "me" is half a step lower than "mi", for example.
The names are based around the major scale: The notes do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do do not change based on direction, but the half-steps in between do. If you are progressing up the scale, the name of a note will be the major-scale note below it, modified to end in an "i" (for example, "fa" ---> "fi" If you are decending the scale, the name will be the note above, modified to an "e" or "a" ("so" ------> "se", but "re" -----"ra" since it *already* ends in an "e".
In this, an ending "o" is a long o sound like in "dough",
an ending "i" is a long e sound, as in "tree", an ending "e" is a long a sound, as in "ray", and an endind "a" is an ah sound, as in "far"
"so" and "sol" are equivalent, the ending "l" is a matter of preference. I've included one of each.
"ti" is sometimes called "si", as well, but this version leads to less confusion with "so"