Solfege is possibly the best system when discussing tonal music orally. It replaces scale degree numbers with specific scale degree names. Solfege is also very natural to sing and helps enforce memorizing the scale and all relative intervals. Solfege is a must for understanding relative pitch ear training.
Solfege is a relative system where any musical note can be Doh. The only time the assigned note changes it’s name is when there is a key change.
The order of solfege notes are as follows:
Doh Ri Mi Fa So La Ti Doh as opposed to scale degree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.
Here is an example of a song using solfege. You will quite often see music written this way for diatonic instruments such as tin whistle or accordion.
Ex. 1 – Twinkle twinkle little star
You will notice that just the first letter of the syllable is often used for shorthand purposes as well as commas or spaces to signify rhythm or phrasing.
D D S S L L S F F M M R R D
S S F F M M R. S S F F M M. R
D D S S L L S. F F M M. R R D
How accidentals are used with solfege:
Anytime a note is raised such as in the case of an accidental the syllable name ends with an ‘i’ vowel. If lowered it’s names ends with an ‘a’ vowel. For example if Mi is lowered it become ‘Ma’