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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Learning la-sol-fa-mi, with Some Hints on Musical Grammar

Learning la-sol-fa-mi, with Some Hints on Musical Grammar

(p.156) 8 Learning la-sol-fa-mi, with Some Hints on Musical Grammar
The Solfeggio Tradition

Nicholas Baragwanath

Oxford University Press

The chapter details how singing solfeggio allowed students to experience melody as a kind of language and to acquire fluency in it from experience rather than conscious learning. To try to reimagine this pedagogical process, as well as to demonstrate how to decipher complex solfeggio manuscripts, the chapter surveys some of the ways in which a common stock pattern of syllables was realized in song. Examples from manuscripts show how singers transformed the syllables la-sol-fa-mi into countless versions of Gjerdingen’s Prinner schema, prefacing them with a sol/do or fa/do lead-in, continuing them with a la-sol half cadence or a mi/mi or la/mi modulation, dividing them into coherent grammatical units with internal punctuation, and combining their two locations to generate complex counterpoint. The chapter also touches on the treatment of the sol-fa-mi and its role within the Monte, Fonte, and Meyer schemas.

Keywords:   construction grammar, music and language, solfeggio manuscripts, music pedagogy, performance practice

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