Monday, January 23, 2012

Solfeggio: History and Names

Here's the first of a series that'll explain a little of why we do so much Solfeg in Let's Play Music. Saturday we watched the beloved clip of Maria on the Sound of Music. Today, "Let's start at the very beginning..."

The History of Solfeg
Solfeg syllables were first written in an 11th centruty hymn/chant by a monk named Guido d'Arezzo. Interestingly enough, the notes of this chant (which was a prayer to Saint John) followed the steps of what is now the major scale:
Variations in Syllable Names
The term solfeggio is Italian, which is the language used most often in music symbols, but it is often translated to Solfeg, Solfege, or solfa. These three terms are used interchangeably. Similarly, as the syllables have been translated, "UT" has become "DO", "SA" becomes "TI" and "SOL", though usually spelled with the "L" is pronounced "soh".

Tomorrow, "The Purpose of Solfeggio Syllables".
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