Scales: Scale Structure: The Solfege System

If you can sing Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do up the major scale, you have the talent required to master Solfege, a skill that will take your musicianship to a whole new level.

The Solfege system works like this: The note that acts as the tonal center is named Do, always. In other words, Do is the key that you are in. Once a tonal center Do is established, each of the other possible pitches has a unique “sound-feeling” with respect to this tonal center. Each of these pitches is assigned a unique Solfege syllable, as you will see in the examples below.  The ultimate goal is to be able to recognize these sound-feelings and to associate them with their corresponding letter names and Solfege syllables. Doing so does not require any special talent. We can all learn to recognize them with a little bit of knowledge and the right kind of practice.

The Payoffs. Your investment of time and energy required to learn Solfege will pay enormous dividends: in musical comprehension when you sight read, in aural comprehension when you play by ear, in “memorization” when you learn a new piece, in your ability to transpose like a pro, and in your fluency in improvisation..

Solfege Syllables for the C Major Scale

Play and sing the above out loud… and be receptive to the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable with respect to Do.

Solfege Syllables for the C Natural Minor Scale

Pronunciation Hint: Me, Le, and Te sound like “May”, “Lay”, and “Tay”.

Play and sing the above out loud… and be receptive to the unique sound-feeling of each Solfege syllable with respect to Do.

learn more… Number System or Solfege?


  1. I already studied solfeggio with a music theory book, but it was a dense read and some of the concepts escaped me. This cleared a lot of things up. Thank you!

    1. Thanks a bunch for taking the time and energy to comment, Mun. The positive feedback is greatly appreciated… as I aspire to be as clear and concise as I can. That said, please do not hesitate to let me know if something is incorrect or unclear. All the best to you in life and music!

      1. You’re certainly welcome. It’s a good blog you have, with plenty of information. My only complaint for now is that you post so frequently that when I scroll through my WordPress Reader, I often don’t know which post to click on first.

        And please call me Haerin. Mun Haerin is a Korean name, so the surname comes first.

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