How Does Movable DO work?
Typically, the solfege syllables, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la & ti are used to represent scale degrees. In other words, if the key is C major, ‘DO’ is the note ‘C’, the first degree of the scale and therefore ‘SOL’ would be the note ‘G’ the fifth degree.
If the key is Eb major, ‘DO’ is the note ‘Eb’ (the first degree) and ‘SOL’ would the be the note ‘Bb’ (the fifth).
How Does Solfege Help?
You will find the internal logic of solfege syllables highly musical to the ear and a great aid towards the development of relative pitch. While some people can identify specific notes as we recognize the color red or blue – something called ‘perfect pitch’, most aspiring musicians haven’t this ability. Instead, they can work to develop relative pitch: the ability to recognize notes and chords from a given point of reference.
Sight-singing melodies with solfege syllables is a good way to begin developing your relative pitch capability. The practice will help you to mentally organize the notes and chord progressions you hear.
How Does it Differ From Fixed DO?
In contrast, with Fixed DO, the syllables are alternative note names, that is, The note ‘C’ is always sung as DO and the note ‘G’ is always sung as SOL, no matter the key.
Movable DO with chord progressions and chord qualities.
Let’s get down into the weeds a bit. If this new to you, don’t worry. Just think about what’s being said and trust that you’ve already taken a first step towards understanding.
Movable DO helps when singing arpeggios in the context of key. Movable DO helps when singing arpeggios in the context of key. CONSIDER THIS: Sing these syllables straight up in any key: fa la do mi. You have sung a major seventh chord on the fourth degree or IVMaj7.
THEN, sing sol ti re fa. You have sounded out a dominant seventh chord at the fifth degree or V7. NOW, sing do mi sol ti. You have sung a major seventh chord on the first degree or IMaj7. If you sing each arpeggio one after the other, you are sounding a IVMaj7 /V7 IMaj7 progression.
Performance Ear Training teaches you how to do and hear this.
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