There are two types of solfège (or solfeggio) used in music.

  1. fixed do - syllables represent fixed tones (Do = C)
  2. movable do - syllables represent degrees of the scale starting on tonic note (Do has not to be always C, it depends on tonic note)

Fixed do

In some countries (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy or Latin American countries) syllables are used as note naming system for pitches.

Fixed Do syllable Note
Do C
Re D
Mi E
Fa F
Sol G
La A
Si/Ti B

Movable do

Syllables represent the degree of scale which starts on tonic note of the given music piece. The syllable “Do” is the first note of the scale starting with the tonic note, “Re” is the second, “Mi” is the third etc.
Example of syllables when the key is A major:

Movable Do syllable
Key is A major
Do A
Re B
Mi C#
Fa D
Sol E
La F#
Si/Ti G#

The syllable “Do” does not always represent note “C” in movable do. However when the key is C major, than the Do is C such as in fixed do system.

Movable do is mainly used in some relative pitch ear training methods. It is the main concept in Kodály method.

Movable do and minor scales

There are two ways how to use movable do syllables when the key of the music piece is minor scale. Either the “Do” refers to the first note (tonic) of the minor scale or it refers to the tonic of a relative major scale (the one which have the same key signature as the minor scale). In the later case the “Do” refers to the 3rd degree of the minor scale.

Degree of
minor scale
Example in
A minor
La-based minor
movable do
Do-based minor
movable do
1 A La Do
2 B Ti Re
3 C Do Me (lowered Mi)
4 D Re Fa
5 E Mi Sol
6 F Fa Le (lowered La)
7 G Sol Te (lowered Ti)

Solfège in MyEarTraining

Movable do solfège can be used in tonal exercises in MyEarTraining apps (Android and iOS). You can choose numbers or solfège and select if you want La-based or Do-based minor.

Solfège exercise in MyEarTraining app Solfège exercise settings in MyEarTraining app

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