Question regarding the C. D. E. F.. calls instead of Do, Re...

Discussion in 'Guitar Lessons' started by jcsk8, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    The system used in USA use letters for the notes instead of italian Do, Re, Mi, etc.
    In that system, there´s a reason why A is La?
    All modes and scales refers to Do, wich is C. If C had been associated with A wouldn´t be much more easy to overall understanding?
     
  2. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    Forgive me, you question is somewhat puzzling to me. I'll try my best here.
    In the key of C, the diatonic major scale is C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C, corresponding in that order to Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do. So in the key of C, the note A corresponds to La.
    But in the scale of D, D-E-F#-G-A-B-C#-D, La is now B.
    So yes, we use your solfeggio (we say "Solfege") quite liberally, especially among vocalists.
     
  3. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    Sorry for the confusion. I was wondering why Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do where related to the letters C D E F G A B C, instead of A B C D E F G.
    Because every mode is related to the first Do note.
     
  4. huw

    huw V.I.P. Member

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    It's a history thing...

    The "system" of music theory, and the labels & names we use wasn't designed as a single coherent thing. It evolved over time, so there are things that seem odd looked at from "now", but make more sense in terms of "when they came from".

    In this case, you are starting from the idea that the major scale is primary. Historically it's actually a late-comer. The "do, reh, mi..." (actually "ut, re, mi... to begin with) comes from a time when the major scale wasn't used as such.

    Have a read through this :

    http://www.peterfrazer.co.uk/music/tunings.html#Contents

    Lots of interesting stuff :)

    (In particular reference to your question, section 2.4 on the Greater Perfect System is relevant)
     
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  5. LPMarshall Hack

    LPMarshall Hack Senior Member

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    Cuz musicians just have to be different
     
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  6. JonR

    JonR Senior Member

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    the site huw linked to is great, but just to bring out the detail on your specific question...

    The note "A" simply referred to the lowest note of the musical range in use at the time, probably determined as the lowest note most men could comfortably sing (roughly equivalent to the guitar 5th string). It wasn't a keynote. Only 4 modes were in use at that time, and their keynotes were D, E, F and G. The notes ABCDEFG existed, but the "major scale" didn't. The mode on C was not used (neither was the mode on A).

    Around 1000 AD, Guido D'Arezzo invented a system of teaching melodies based on the opening syllables of each line of a well-known hymn, which were each on a different scale note. Those syllables were "ut re mi fa sol la ti". "Ut" happened to be C, but that was still not a keynote. The major scale as we know it still hadn't been invented. ("Ut" later became "do", because do was easier to sing.)

    It was much later (the 16th century) that the major mode (Ionian) starting on C became popular, and ended up becoming he basis of western music.
     
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  7. jcsk8

    jcsk8 Senior Member

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    Great link huw, and great explanation, JonR. The stuff came much longer than I thought.
     

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