Solmization


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Solmization

 

(1) In the narrow sense, the medieval Western European practice of singing melodies on the syllables ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la, which were introduced by Guido d’Arezzo to designate the degrees of a hexachord; in the broad sense, any method of singing melodies by articulating the syllabic names of the degrees of some scale (relative do) or the names of the tones corresponding to the tones’ absolute pitch (fixed do); a method of teaching singing from notation.

In his system of solmization, Guido used the initial syllables in the lines of a hymn for the feast of St. John the Baptist as the names of the degrees, at the same time preserving the lettered designations of the absolute pitch of the tones A, B, C, D, E, and F. Each solmization syllable designated a certain degree of a hexachord independent of the degree’s absolute pitch, whether in a natural hexachord (from the tone C), a soft hexachord (from the tone F), or a hard hexachord (from the tone G). The transition of a melody from one hexachord to another required changes, or mutations, in the syllabic names of the tones. The introduction in the late 16th century of the syllable si to designate the seventh degree of a scale made mutations within the same key unnecessary.

In the late 17th century, the syllable ut was replaced by do, which was easier to sing. In countries where Romance languages were spoken, in Russia, and later in the USSR, solmization syllables were subsequently used to designate the absolute pitch of tones (fixed do). In countries where Germanic languages were spoken and in Hungary, these same syllables with slight alterations are used as movable syllables (movable do), and the tone letters are used to designate the absolute pitch of tones. In the Estonian SSR and Latvian SSR, the movable syllables used are jo, le, mi, na, so, ra, di (in Estonia) and ti (in Latvia).

(2) In Russian, the cognate sol’mizatsiia is sometimes used to designate the rhythmic reading of notes without intonation, as distinguished from solfeggio.

REFERENCE

Veis, P. “Absoliutnaia i otnositel’naia sol’mizatsiia.” In Voprosy me-todiki vospitaniia slukha. Leningrad, 1967.

P. F. VEIS

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like Guido, her method included both a notation and a solmization, but with an even more direct connection between the two.
Mengozzi puts the matter into particularly sharp focus when he paraphrases Wiora: "the genius of Guidonian solmization lies precisely in artificially assuming a simplified model of the diatonic space for the purpose of 'navigating' that space correctly--quite a different goal from precisely mapping its internal articulation" (p.
While it is acknowledged that a number of anthologies of compositions, and other didactic works, have been published during the last hundred years, using a solmization system of melodic notation, the compositions current in oral tradition are regarded as more authoritative, and the notations as lacking essential information about ornamentation.
One might quibble here and there (in 5.6.93 Gaffurio says that solmization syllables are not written in vocal music because they might be confused with the text, not that 'musicians hardly agree to assign and ascribe them to the diagram of consonances'), but the translation is generally accurate and has been carefully proof-read (more so than the footnotes of the introduction and the list of abbreviations).
Pitches occurring within these hexachords were known as "musica recta," while pitches outside the system were identified as "musica ficta." The system was taught by means of hexachordal solmization, traditionally traced back to Guido of Arezzo.
Triki's efforts to teach the recalcitrant shaykhs how to read the notations eventually led to the establishing of a separate music school whose curriculum included solmization, notation, history and theory of Arab music, and instrumental technique.
The staff and clefs are covered in just over two pages and a full-page example; solmization and mutation occupy seven pages of text and four and a half pages of examples; the transposition of clefs takes up little more than one page, including its example; the modes are allotted twelve pages of text, six and a half of tables and eight of examples; and the volume ends with four pages on the division of the monochord.
Finally, there are terms that have multiple meanings--for example, vox may mean "pitch" or "solmization syllable" as well as "voice," and figura may mean "note shape" as well as "figure" or "diagram"--and the transl ator must consider the context in order to provide the correct sense.
More generally, he is probably most useful for his lucid explanation of Guidonian solmization and mutation.
Berger combed through music theory texts for details about pitch, solmization, and counterpoint that might shed light on the problem of nonnotated accidentals.
Solmization syllables (the letters m, f, s, and l) below the music are set in movable type.
Here the works are unattributed in DK 2 but can be identified through concordance to three untitled but attributed ('Phelipe Rocher') compositions in Puebla, Libro de Coro XIX [ILLUSTRATION FOR EX.2 OMITTED].(21) Two others can be at least tentatively identified, as they match solmization incipits and modes of textless Rogier compositions from Joao's catalogue.(22) The others in the group (nos.29-39) are so similar in style that they must be by Rogier as well.(23)