A system of associating each note of a scale with a particular syllable, especially to teach singing.
The most common European system, still in use, originally named the notes ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la in groups of six (hexachords) beginning on G, C, or F, using syllables from a Latin hymn for St. John the Baptist's Day in which each phrase begins on the next note in the scale: “Ut queant laxis resonare fibris Mira gestorum famuli tuorum, Solve polluti labili reatum, Sancte Iohannes.” A seventh note si was added later (from the initials of Sancte Iohannes). Modern systems typically use the sequence as arbitrarily adapted in the 19th century: do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, with do being C in the fixed-do system and the keynote in the movable-do or tonic sol-fa system‘Known variously as solmisation, solfeggio or solfège, numerous systems have appeared over the centuries, all fashioned to meet specific needs or based on divergent theories.’
- ‘The history of the use of solmisation in voice training has been traced in the west and in India.’
- ‘Music playschools also introduce the children to the basics of solmisation and musical notation.’
- ‘Experiments have shown that the technique can achieve 95% correct solmization of the melodies of pop songs.’
- ‘Any knowledge on modes, scales, intervals, dissonances, consonances, note names, and solmisation for example was superfluous and hence discarded.’
Mid 18th century from French solmisation, based on sol‘soh’ + mi (see me).