I solfege, you solfege,… «Solfege is very useful, but difficult to learn». “Solfege is something old that is not needed or that no one uses anymore”. And so, dozens of expressions and opinions about solfege, its practice and its usefulness.
The origin of music theory
For hundreds of years in the sun, regulated music learning has been based on sheet music, that is, that coded system by which symbols and a staff communicate musical information to anyone who knows how to interpret it.
The word solfeo as such seems to derive from the old term “solfa”, a combination of sun and fa, which was used to denote sheet music containing these two staves and keys.
Solfeggio, then, consists ultimately in learning and practicing solfege, that is, reading and intoning the musical notes of a score, pronouncing each one’s name, and interpreting both the tempo and the musical meter of the work or passage.
Learn music theory
Following this idea, it is not difficult to understand that music is a language, a language with its norms, uses and customs that musical notation somehow orders and which makes writing and reading music possible and efficient.
Therefore, learning solfege is to some extent, at least, learning a new language, the language of music.
Later in this article we will talk about whether or not it is necessary to know solfege and the advantages that being able to read and write music can have, to know the musical language better.
Syllabic notation is a method of musical notation that uses musical notation symbols along with syllables to represent the different pitches of a song.
In this method, each musical note is represented by a specific syllable, such as “do” for the lowest pitch in a major scale, “re” for the next pitch, and so on.
This way of learning music theory is often used in music teaching and is useful for learning to read sheet music and understand how the tones in a song are related.
Melodic solfege is a method slightly different from the syllabic method that also serves to represent the different tones of a melody.
Unlike syllabic solfege, which uses syllables to represent each musical note, melodic solfege uses notational symbols such as lines and dots to represent musical notes.
Let’s see some examples:
- A straight line with a dot above it represents a higher-pitched note than a straight line without a dot:
- A straight line with two dots above it represents an even higher grade than a straight line with a single dot:
Even higher grade:
- A straight line with a small diagonal line above it represents an even higher grade than a straight line with two dots:
There are many other melodic symbols and patterns that can be used in musical notation.
Rhythmic music theory consists of reciting the note names of the melody, but without actually singing or singing them.
Yes, we must respect the durations of the notes, that is, their rhythmic values, as well as the time indication, and therefore ignore any tonal alteration such as sharps or flats, in order to keep the rhythm, while, Usually, the compass is marked with a single hand
The advantages of knowing Solfeggio
Practicing and being able to apply music theory in our everyday life will bring us some very interesting benefits.
- It will improve your music reading: Music theory is an important tool for learning to read sheet music and understanding how pitches and rhythm are related in a piece of music.
- It will help with musical performance: Music theory can help you understand how notes and rhythmic patterns should be performed in a piece of music, which can improve your performance and expressiveness when you play or sing.
- It will expand your musical possibilities: Knowledge of music theory can open doors to new musical opportunities, such as being able to sing or play more complex pieces or compose your own music. In addition, music theory can be useful when working together with other musicians, as it facilitates communication and collaboration.
Is it necessary to know music theory?
Like Spanish or any other language and their respective grammars, music does not require knowledge of music theory to enjoy it.
If you grow up in a place where Spanish is spoken, you will be able to speak it better or worse, and music in the same way can be sung, sung or even composed if you have spent time with it and paid attention to the particulars his, even if you haven’t formally studied it, as self-taught people well know.
Many amateur musicians have little or no practice with sheet music and yet, often contrary to their belief, know a great deal about music.
Musical notation, as it is also called, consists of this network of musical signs, and in short has that double function of any language: writing and reading, or reading and writing.
In principle, those who know how to read also know how to write and vice versa, even if you never end up writing a note with compositional ambition.
But in any case, adding a skill like music theory to our musical tools will give us a new way to relate to it on many levels. You have to keep that in mind before you disparage or minimize.
In conclusion, music theory consists of bringing together certain combined skills such as ear training, concentration or persistence in practice that will gradually crystallize into more accurate musical recognition and interpretation.
Additionally, sight reading, as interpreting a score without price study is often called, has a lot to do with being able to solfegra safely and fluently.
In short, music theory demands dedication and, after a while, returns a kind of superpower: listening to written music without the aid of any instrument.
It is worth appreciating and perhaps spending the time it takes to access these wonderful skills.