I am using EarMaster for ear training. Now I encounter the first pitch dictation lesson. It is a seemly easy one. Just 3 notes, C, D, and E in 2 different octaves. I tried 3 days, only scored it from 40% to 60%, but the suggested percentage is 90%. I felt it is so hard. I would practice this for weeks to get it passed.
At one time in the middle of the lesson, I closed my eye and tried to focus on the sound, and when the sound began, guess what, I felt like it was saying “do re mi” to me! I could totally know which note each sound is, but not so clear what the distance they were in. I continued to use this method to hear the rest. As a result, I made the rest all correct! That was unbelievable. And before I needed to use the option “show first note” otherwise I won’t know which is the first one. Now I could turn this off! I then did twice again, first 95%, second 100%. This gives me a thought, my absolute pitch is better than relative pitch, and my RP REALLY sucks.
Because I decided to sing the note with letter like Rick Beato‘s son who has AP, but I am actually familiar with solfege, I tried to think letter instead of solfege when hearing the sound. But it didn’t work. The reason I wanted to use letter is that great pianist successfully taught his son AP, and his son sings the letters when he test his AP, which make me think using letter is not bad. Another reason is pianists anyhow use letters all the time for keys and chords. Why not simply unify this by using letter also for singing and recognizing musical notes?
So I try to search really hard about different methods to represent the notes (after I know it is called solmization).
Fortunately, I discovered there is also 2 video Rick Beato teaching selfege. In the first video he sings “Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti”. Oh he also uses solfege to sing notes! So maybe solfege is not bad. And one interesting comment caught me eyes. He says in his area, people read “C” as “Do” and “D” as “Re” and so on. I haven’t thought that! I think this method is very suitable for me. The written text is the same. Just the language is different. Just use another musical language (which I am already familiar).
But then comes another question, I wonder what people say C# or Bb. If solfege can be used, then singing is smooth but accidentals must be sang with a different approach. In China, people read “1” as “Do”, “3#” as “sharp Mi”, which is apparently not good to sing. Then I discovered the second video is about chromatic selfege. Simply put, this is a version of selfege that also includes the accidentals. It has “Di Ri”, etc to represent them. But the representation ascending and descending are different. So need to memorize twice (but not hard). And you can use two different syllables to represent one single pitch (C# and Db). I just hate not to unify. I already disliked why to use C# and Bb to represent the same thing. And after I also found there are double sharp or double flat, even triple sharp in the music. Then what should we sing these? This version of selfege apparently can’t fit well in this situation.
Luckily, I found a version of selfege in the wikipedia called Sotorrio Selfege. It has 12 tones to sing just that 12 levels of pitches, representing exactly the 12 keys in a scale in the piano, writes “Do Ga Ray Nu Mi Fa Jur Sol Ki La Pe Tsi”. It is great and compatible with the version of selfege I already familiar! I want to use this, though I can’t find the citation’s publication to know it more. And I am not sure what it pronounces like. I searched the Internet and found there is a repo in GitHub making midi music with solfege sound. And the solfege used is exactly Sotorrio selfege! Really thankful to the author! Now I can confidently start to use this selfege.
Also I found a free book called Eyes and Ears and a supporting software called Latido about practicing sight singing. Although this book uses moveable-do, I think it is not going to affect much. And I like the quality of pdf and the layout. Good to my eyes.
while I searched for solfege, I also found someone mentions solfege is a language for music pitches and there is even a language for rhythms called Konnakol! This caught my interest. I actually pretty appreciate some hardcore(?) electronic music in which drum plays an important role, or I can say basically the drum is the main sound. I’d also like to enhance my rhythm skill. This collection of tutorials is really valuable. This book called Solkattu Manual: An Introduction to the Rhythmic Language of South Indian Music has kindle version and is quite cheap. I think when I have time I can have a look at it.