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tonic sol fa

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Mo the caller 29 Jul 10 - 03:50 AM
Dave MacKenzie 29 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM
Jack Campin 29 Jul 10 - 04:23 AM
Tangledwood 29 Jul 10 - 04:26 AM
Mo the caller 29 Jul 10 - 06:03 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 29 Jul 10 - 12:12 PM
Dave MacKenzie 29 Jul 10 - 12:15 PM
Haruo 29 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM
Desert Dancer 29 Jul 10 - 12:30 PM
Desert Dancer 29 Jul 10 - 12:39 PM
Joe_F 29 Jul 10 - 05:06 PM
Murray MacLeod 29 Jul 10 - 06:45 PM
Mo the caller 30 Jul 10 - 08:31 AM
TopcatBanjo 30 Jul 10 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 30 Jul 10 - 05:59 PM
Burke 30 Jul 10 - 06:21 PM
Burke 30 Jul 10 - 06:26 PM
Murray MacLeod 31 Jul 10 - 01:50 AM
Haruo 31 Jul 10 - 04:04 AM
Burke 02 Aug 10 - 05:26 PM
Ross Campbell 02 Aug 10 - 07:15 PM
Burke 03 Aug 10 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,karen 10 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM
Crowhugger 10 Dec 11 - 09:35 PM
GUEST 06 Mar 12 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 03:10 PM
catspaw49 06 Mar 12 - 07:24 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 07:41 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 07:45 PM
catspaw49 06 Mar 12 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,999 06 Mar 12 - 08:07 PM
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Subject: tonic sol fa
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 03:50 AM

I wish that when I had to learn intervals for my music exams this had become more second nature than it did. I think it would be a help when trying to play 'by ear' rather than 'from the dots'. So I intend to go round the house singing 'doh me doh me doh me soh....'

But are there words for minor intervals and accidentals?


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 04:08 AM

There is definitely some because I've seen it. I can't lay my hands on any just now, but the majority of Scottish Gaelic music is published in sol-fa choir music that definitely uses accidentals on the ATB lines.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 04:23 AM

Get a copy of John Curwen's book, it's the standard text on it.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Tangledwood
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 04:26 AM

This might be of use to you Project Solfege


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 06:03 AM

Thanks.

Does anyone here use the notation regularly?


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:12 PM

I don't use it much but the wife is a fiend at it.
There are different systems. American FaSoLa as used by Sacred Harp groups is not the same as the classical European version.
At any rate, she sez that in the classical system, you make accidentals by changing the vowel.
Change to 'i' as in 'tea' to raise one half step.
Do > Di
Re > Ri
Mi > Fa (think about it)
Fa > Fi
So > Si (careful with this because Ti is Si in some systems)
La > Li
Ti > Do
Change to 'e' as in 'hey' to lower one half step.
Mi > Me
So > Se
La > Le
Ti > Te
Of course you don't lower Do or Fa by a half step.
And it doesn't work with Re, but given how accidentals work in real keys I don't think you'd miss it.
Hope that helps
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:15 PM

That sounds like how I remember it.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Haruo
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:28 PM

That's helpful. Thanks, Glenn, and thanks Mo for raising the question in the first place.

As for American fasola, the groups I've heard don't change the names of the accidentals, and not uncommonly treat them as nonexistent in practice (i.e. when singing the tune in fasola, tend to sing the natural when the music calls for a sharp or flat). The fasola scale goes
Fa (a triangular note)
So (a round note)
La (a square note)
Fa (a triangular note)
So (a round note)
La (a square note)
Mi (a diamond-shaped note)
Fa (a triangular note)

This is most frequently used in Sacred Harp singing, but there are many other songbooks old and (some) new that employ it.

America also has seven-shape shapenote music, but it uses the normal Do-re-mi-fa-so(l)-la-ti-do note names explicated earlier in the thread, not sure if they go in much for accidental-naming.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:30 PM

Assuming that you're dealing with folk music, you shouldn't have to use accidentals much. You just need to be in the right mode: for minor key, instead of starting with doh, your scale starts with la, for instance. The intervals between the named notes don't change.

The Christian Harmony school of shape note singing uses a seven-shape system like your solfa. Sacred harp uses four shapes, because that covers all the needed intervals.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 12:39 PM

Here's a Wikipedia page with the 4- and 7-shape note systems.

~ B in T


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Joe_F
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 05:06 PM

The usual practice in solfa for the minor mode, AFAIK, is to use the relative minor (start the scale with la). If the song is in melodic minor, then there will be no accidentals that way (scale: la ti do re mi fa sol la). If in harmonic minor, then sol becomes si.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 06:45 PM

Maybe it was just the idiosyncratic approach of our music teacher when I were a lad, but as far as I recall, the flattened seventh note of the scale was always regarded as the flattened seventh, and was designated " ta " (pronounced "taw") it was never called "li" or regarded as a sharpened sixth.

My recollection of the solfa notation in the psalmody (Scottish version at any rate) is that this was also the convention there, also, the accidentals were denoted as de, re, fe, se, ta.( ie they were not denoted as "di, ri, fi, si", but that is probably a minor detail)

Tonic solfa is like second nature to me, thanks to an early intensive grounding, I can transpose any melody I hear straight into tonic solfa notation, without even having to think about it.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Mo the caller
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 08:31 AM

Thanks everyone, thats great.

Murray, that familiarity is what I'd like to work towards.

You said on another thread (links above)
"If this method were still taught today, we would have far less requests on forums and YouTube for chords/tabs, since a side benefit of learning solfa is that you can immediately identify the harmonies as well."

Would you care to expand on that. I'm trying to learn to play a piano accordian and find 'what to do with the left hand' another problem I didn't have on the recorder (as well as the 'help I've run out of fingers' one).


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: TopcatBanjo
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 09:34 AM

Haruo said:
As for American fasola, the groups I've heard don't change the names of the accidentals, and not uncommonly treat them as nonexistent in practice (i.e. when singing the tune in fasola, tend to sing the natural when the music calls for a sharp or flat).

Actually the way I've been taught it in Sacred Harp is that the sound/name of the shape note is changed slightly when you sing it, i.e. sol becomes see, fa becomes fee, etc.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 05:59 PM

Murray, yes, it does matter which way you go with the accidentals. In our equal-tempered world we tend to lose sight of the nuts and bolts of how scales are constructed. Or, too many people never get a clue. A# NOT = Bb.
In the case you mentioned (Mixolydian mode?) you wouldn't sharp the sixth to make the flatted seventh, because you are already using the sixth. Actually, to be correct that wouldn't even be an accidental, but rather the 'normal' note for that degree of the scale in that mode. But I am skating on thin pedantic ice and I'll stop.
And yes, Joe F, you would start a minor on la rather than clutter things up with accidentals to turn a major into its parallel minor.
Cheers
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Burke
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 06:21 PM

I have Curwen's Musical Theory in front of me right now. When it comes to accidentals his emphasis is more on the way it's indicated in the notation than the pronunciation. Here's what I've gleaned from a brief check & looking at several places in the book.

Basic scale:
d-Doh
r-Ray
m-Me
f-Fah
s-Soh
l-Lah
t-Te

"The sign for a flat in the Tonic Sol-fa notation is the alteration of the syllabic vowel to aw, written a, thus te ta. The sign for a sharp is the alteration of the syllabic vowel to ee, written e, thus fah fe." Murray he goes on a great deal to point out that the sharp of a note is lower than the flat of the next above. Keyboard instruments treat them as the same, but in singing and unfretted strings they are not. Also Ray tends to get flatted a comma when in a chord with Fah or Lah and is called Rah and marked r`

Here's all the possible tones pulled from a chart starting at the top
DOH-d
du (rare)
ty (rare)
TE-t
ta
le (rare)
LAH-l
la (no indication of pronunciation)
se
SOH-s
sa (I've interpolated this, I can't find it in the book)
fe
ba (used as raised 6 in melodic minor)
FAH-f
fu (rare)
my (rare)
ME-m
ma
re
RAY-r
rah-r`
de
DOH-d

ba sharped is be


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Burke
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 06:26 PM

TopcatBanjo- For shape note music there are instructions in the rudiments about how to sing accidentals. In practice Hauro is correct that most are ignored.

Curwen calls the modes doh and lah. He also includes Ray as a minor mode that is usually called Dorian.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 01:50 AM

In tonic sol-fa, the difference between sharps and flats, as used in staff notation, is irrelevant, to be honest.

If you are notating a tune in the key of F major, the fourth note of the scale is a Bb, if you decide that you need to jack it up a semitone to F#, then that Bb note becomes an A#.

It don't matter one whit as far as tonic sol-fa is concerned, because you are still using the same d,r,m,f,s,l,t,d to denote the melody.

I am well aware of the theory behind scales, but when using tonic sol-fa, (which after all is primarily a resource for singers who are not classically trained musicians), differentiating between the accidentals is a pedantically unnecessary complication.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Haruo
Date: 31 Jul 10 - 04:04 AM

sol-see
fa-fee

would work just fine, it's just that so far I haven't heard anybody actually sing 'em that way. But my experience of Sacred Harp is very skimpy (total of three singings, two of those in Seattle), so I wouldn't deny there may be singing schools out there that do it up right. But at the singing I went to in Birmingham about 3 weeks ago this coming Monday, at which there were dozens of very experienced SH singers, I didn't hear any articulated accidental syllables.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Burke
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 05:26 PM

Murray, It sounds to me like you are talking about transposing an entire tune up or down a little. That would always be taken care of by
a key signature regardless of system.

Other accidentals do show up as when raising a 7th at certain points in minor keys. Folk music may not use accidentals a lot, but Tonic sol-fa is used for Handel & Haydn and they do.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 02 Aug 10 - 07:15 PM

Curwen's Modulator

Click on the photo for a larger image.

This is the one I remember from primary school in Scotland, 1950s. There were also 'pocket" versions. No luck finding any on eBay, Amazon or Abebooks. Google Images produces a few more. This one is slightly different from the above:-

Curwen's Modulator (2)

and a fuller Curwen chart

The Norwich Sol-Fa Ladder, precursor of the Curwen Modulator


There is a John Curwen Society who promote his music method. Their efforts don't seem to extend to publishing the chart, but there are a couple of booklets available. I'm surprised nobody has made this available as a poster (or even a post-card). Surely must be out of copyright by now?

Ross


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Burke
Date: 03 Aug 10 - 10:35 AM

I knew this had to be online. Here's a link to Curwen's Musical Theory.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,karen
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM

Hello.
So I've written this novel, being published, in a minute, in England and in the States, the book pays tribute to 38 songs from the musicals and both here and in the States 'fair use' applies to all of them, But, big butt, the Finale of the story is entirely built around the lyrics of You'll Never Walk Alone. In England they don't care and will publish the 4 pages with 8 lyric line 'sung', but in the States I've got to cut 8 lyric lines to 2 lyric lines as it is a very short song and the 'fair use' percentage I'm using is too great. I don't want to lose the song as it is synonymous with Courage and I'm wondering if instead of 'lyric words' I could spell out the tonic sol fa for the music instead. I've got to send a revision to America for Monday morning. It's 1.52 a.m Sunday. i don't even know if it will work, if readers, non musicians will be able to interpret, but I'm allowed 2 lines of lyric and that might help to get them started...
Tonic sol fa, anybody?

When you walk through a storm. Hold your head up high. And be afraid of the dark. At the end of a storm. There's a golden sky. And the sweet silver song of a lark.....Walk on through the wind. Walk on through the rain. Though you dreams be tossed and blown. Walk on walk on with hope in your heart. And you'll never walk alone. You'll never walk alone. Cor...


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: Crowhugger
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 09:35 PM

Congratulations on your accomplishment!

Quite apart from copyright issues (the answer depends on whether the melody is also still in copyright, and won't the same fair use limits apply?) ... I can't imagine that putting in sol-fa will have meaning to a worthwhile percentage of readers. If they don't understand that language, they'll have no idea what you mean. If they do know sol-fa but don't know the song it'll be equally meaningless.

So, I see a hasty re-write in your future for the US version of your novel. For example, write your own short inspirational verse, or take one that fits from the public domain according to US law. If no time for that, just pick the allowed amount from what you wrote above, e.g. the 9th and 10th lines if 2 lines are permitted. Or maybe your US publishers will accept a URL to a UK site with full lyrics, but it sounds like you're out of time for discussion.

Best of luck. Now, if you want to attract the attention of the legal minds here at Mudcat, you might start a thread with a title that shows that you seek legal copyright info. This thread is really about ol-fa not copyright.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 03:03 PM

I was interested to see info on tonic sol-fa. Believe it or not, I play the church organ (in Scotland) from sol-fa. I am self taught. Most of the music in the church I was brought up in was in sol-fa, & I discovered that I could play in Key of C. I have never learnt staff notation. Most people cannot believe that I play from sol-fa, but I do have a good ear for timing of tunes. I am limited to what I can play on the pipe organ, but have the use of an electronic organ which has a key transposer. What I would like to know is this: is there a website or facility available that is able to transpose music from staff into sol-fa?


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 03:10 PM

I think so, Guest. There is a program called Sibelius that may do that. However, I know nothing about it. There are some seriously good musicians around this place so let's keep the thread visible for a few days.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 07:24 PM

Gee, I was hoping this was about this acapella group, 4 guys in the US Midwest.........Tonic SolFa


Spaw


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 07:41 PM

No offense, but you are one seriously fucked-up dude. There were two guys there.


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 07:45 PM

OK, sorry. You are just fucked-up. There are three guys there. My aplogies (and warm your hands before ya touch them).


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: catspaw49
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:02 PM

LOL....There's 4 and they all have a good sense of humor too......Here's a few muppet stylists...LOL

Muppets in the jungle

Spaw


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Subject: RE: tonic sol fa
From: GUEST,999
Date: 06 Mar 12 - 08:07 PM

LOLOL

No offense, but I am one seriously fucked-up dude. There ARE four guys there. But ya still gotta warm your hands first. LOL


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