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The Solfeggio TraditionA Forgotten Art of Melody in the Long Eighteenth Century$
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Nicholas Baragwanath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197514085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197514085.001.0001

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Speaking Solfeggio

Speaking Solfeggio

(p.85) 6 Speaking Solfeggio
The Solfeggio Tradition

Nicholas Baragwanath

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins the lessons in the eighteenth-century art of melody, involving practical engagement with real historical solfeggi. It provides instruction in the first year of study: how to name notes in the eighteenth-century manner by a process known as “reading,” or “spoken solfeggio.” The lessons cover the simple scale, hard and soft melody, the compound scale, minor keys, accidentals, and key signatures and modulation. In keeping with the original method, the instruction covers not only note-naming but also basic aspects of theory. The method applies to melodies from the era of Arcangelo Corelli to that of Vincenzo Bellini, or roughly 1680–1830. In an appendix, seven supplementary guidelines are put forward to deal with ambiguities and complexities in the primary sources.

Keywords:   solmization, hexachords, music education, rudiments, spoken solfeggio

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