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(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.


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


References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Notation syllables are used orally in the teaching process as a means of communication and an aid to memory; rhythmic recitation of drum syllables, or melodic vocal improvisation using solmization syllables, can be an important ingredient of performance in the classical traditions.
So thoroughly schooled in hexachordal solmization were Renaissance singers that, in Lionel Pike's words, "It would scarcely have been possible for a Renaissance musician to sing B[flat] without thinking 'fa', or B natural without thinking 'mi'" (p.
Further, Agricola's doctrine of solmization and mutation, which forms the second-largest chapter of the text, has been misconstrued.
Solmization syllables (the letters m, f, s, and l) below the music are set in movable type.
21) Two others can be at least tentatively identified, as they match solmization incipits and modes of textless Rogier compositions from Joao's catalogue.
Thus, one might venture that in Vicentino's treatise the two expressions above indicate the two customary forms of the gamut "with B natural" and "with B flat," except when they explicitly refer to solmization syllables and/or to the three "properties of singing" (hard, soft, and natural).
But the cut-off can be a pity when it affects the discussion of some of the main issues such as the solmization dispute, one of the teething problems of developing tonality, and the long-running argument between traditional Lutherans and those more puritanically inclined about the necessity and function of music in the church.
In "The Teaching of Liturgical Singing in the De musica of Englebert of Admont" Angelo Rusconi argues that this thirteenth-century text betrays only a limited mastery of the material, which includes solmization, the nature of the tones, and aspects of melodic execution.
A mostly diatonic instrument in A/C is also closer to the principles of solmization and the hexachord than a chromatic one in B[flat].
Beginning with the rudiments of sixteenth-century music (pitches, rhythm, solmization, the hexachord system, mutation), the treatise proceeds progressively from treatment of dissonance and harmonization of melodies to chapters on imitative counterpoint in two-, three- and four-parts, which conclude with two illustrative pieces titled "fantasia a concierto?
Toft is not much impressed by the significance of canon, nor the maintenance of the same solmization between the leader and follower voices of a canon.