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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1912, from solfeggio (1774), from Italian solfeggio, from sol-fa, representing musical notes (see sol-fa).


n. (alternative spelling of solfège English)


n. (context music English) A method of sight singing that uses the syllables ''do'' (originally ''ut''), ''re'', ''mi'', ''fa'', ''sol'' (or ''so''), ''la'', and ''si'' (or ''ti'') to represent the seven principal pitches of the scale, most commonly the major scale. The ''fixed-do'' system uses ''do'' for C, and the ''moveable-do'' system uses ''do'' for whatever key the melody uses (thus B is ''do'' if the piece is in the key of B). The relative natural minor of a scale may be represented by beginning at ''la''.

  1. n. singing using solfa syllables to denote the notes of the scale of C major [syn: solmization, solfeggio]

  2. a voice exercise; singing scales or runs to the same syllable [syn: solfeggio]


In music, solfège (, , ) or solfeggio (, ), also called sol-fa, solfa, solfeo, solfeggio, among many names, is a music education method used to teach pitch and sight singing Western music. Solfège is a form of solmization, and though the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, the systems used in other music cultures such as swara, durar mufaṣṣalāt and Jianpu are discussed in that article.

Syllables are assigned to the notes of the scale and enables the musician to audiate, or mentally hear, the pitches of a piece of music which he or she is seeing for the first time and then to sing them aloud. Through the Renaissance (and much later in some shapenote publications) various interlocking 4, 5 and 6-note systems were employed to cover the octave. The tonic sol-fa method popularized the seven syllables commonly used in English-speaking countries: do (or doh in tonic sol-fa), re, mi, fa, so(l), la, and ti (or si, see below).

There are two current schools of applying solfège: 1) fixed do, where the syllables are always tied to specific pitches (e.g. "do" is always "C-natural") and 2) movable do, where the syllables are assigned to scale degrees ("do" is always the first degree of the major scale).

Solfege (manga)

is a one-shot Japanese manga written and illustrated by Fumi Yoshinaga. The series is licensed and published in English in North America by Digital Manga Publishing. The manga is licensed in Taiwan by Sharp Point Press.