An alternative to the solfege system of sight-singing, this system numbers the diatonic scale with the numbers 1 through 8 (or, alternately, 1 to 7, with the octave being 1 again.


In this system, 1 is always the root or origin, but the scale being represented may be major, minor, or any of the diatonic modes. Accidentals (sharps and flats outside the key signature) are noted with a + or - when the numbers are written, but are often skipped when they are spoken or sung.
For example, I might sing "one, three, five, three, one" for a major triad, but a diminished triad might be either "one, three, five, three one" or "one, flat three, flat five, flat three, one", depending on how I was taught, and how much I felt like pronouncing two long syllables for one short note.

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