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Seventh chords & solfege symbols

Posted by Mollie 
Seventh chords & solfege symbols
September 01, 2005 10:31AM
We are studying seventh chords in ear training class and would like to know if solfege symbols can be used in relation to seventh chords. Last semester we sang triads to help us learn them--ex. Do-Mi-Sol, Do-me-Sol, etc. Can this also be applied to seventh chords? I have figured out the following: MM7= do-mi-sol-ti: Mm7= do-mi-sol-te: mm7=do-me-sol-te: dm7=do-me-se-te: & d7=do-me-se-la?

My class and I are not sure what to do with the double flat on the chordal seventh. It's actually the sixth scale degree, but that's not spelling the chord correctly.

Can anyone offer any help with this? Thank-you.
Re: Seventh chords & solfege symbols
September 05, 2005 10:29AM
Hi, Mollie!
I don't have an good answer, but I can explore it a bit with you... :)

I've never heard of solfege syllables for double accidentals, either... however, the important thing here is that your students understand how the chord is constructed, and what it sounds like.

If you don't manage to find a better answer somewhere... you could either:
1) sing the sixth (the best way to help them learn how to "hear" the chord), but make sure they understand that this is NOT how the chord is built, only an enharmonic equivalent, OR
2) invent a new solfege syllable for double flat: maybe "tu"?

I think I'd lean towards the first option; it's more complicated to explain, but inventing new syllables (that they'll never see anywhere else, ever again) seems a little dangerous to me.

Good luck!
Re: Seventh chords & solfege symbols
September 08, 2005 03:30PM

Thank-you for your response. Singing the sixth sounds like good advice. We already have a good understanding of how the chord is built-we just need to "hear it". Thanks again!

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