A Conversation for Sol-fa (1): the key to the riddle of staff notation

Peer Review: A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 1

Recumbentman

Entry: Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation - A1012230
Author: Recumbentman (keeper of solmization syllables) - U208656

A1012230 - 'Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation'

Doh, my dears, here it is.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 2

Gordon, Ringer of Bells, Keeper of Postal Codes and Maps No One Can Re-fold Properly

A little ray of sunshine in PR. smiley - smiley


I've only skimmed over this entry sol fa, but it looks pretty good. smiley - run


Cheers! smiley - smiley

smiley - teasmiley - towel


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 3

David B - Singing Librarian Owl

My head hurts after a quick read. I'll come back later and have a closer look! I sing a lot, but don't 'get' music at all, so this looks as though it might be helpful. smiley - musicalnote

David


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 4

Gnomon - time to move on

This is good, Recumbentman! It is a delight to read an article about this complex topic that doesn't just say "A# is different from Bb".

Some points:

If Guido didn't know about frequency, what was it that he knew the underlying maths of?

Avoid putting footnotes immediately after digits. Your footnote 4 on the digit 3 looks like 3 to the power of 4.

The comment "that's all right, since after all x can be smaller" is a trifle confusing. It's not clear what it means.

You might like to mention the origin of Te. I believe it came from "Si" being the initials of two words in the original song but I can't remember the details. The syllable was changed to Te to avoid a confusion with Sol which also started with a letter S.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 5

Gnomon - time to move on

Oops, I should have read all the footnotes. So you have given the origin of Te.

Hertz should have a small h when spelled out, although the abbreviation Hz has a capital H.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 6

Recumbentman

Thanks for all that useful feedback Gnomon -- curious to think that with luck we'll have our first conversation in London (unless you take up my cello bridge offer)!

I thought a capital was more respectful to Herr Hertz . . . and funnily Grove (eg entry on Sound, §4) gives the word a capital when referring to the measurement, so I'll leave it for now; unless the small h has become standard since my Grove was printed in 1981 . . . ?

To be fair the origin of Te has only just been slipped in; I'm correcting and rewriting furiously since submitting to Peer Review -- strange ways of going about things, we humans. I had originally ascribed a lot more to Guido than he was responsible for.

Overall I err on the side of saying far too much, perhaps; but I want it to be free of howlers. Please keep eyes peeled!

Perhaps it needs a warning: this page is best read with a pencil and plenty of paper to hand.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 7

Recumbentman

I've incorporated most of your excellent suggestions Gnomon, sidestepped the hertz decision, spoken more to the numerate, and done away with most of those redundant x-es.

Two things remain: the maths the ancients worked with dealt with pipe lengths, string lengths (weight and tension being equal) and weights (e.g. of bells). The figures all work out the same. In particular the mediævals trained their ears with the monochord, dividing a single string into precise proportions.

But that I think would overload this entry?

The other remaining thing that goes against House Style is my plentiful em dashes. I am campaigning to have them recognised, as they are grammatically different from hyphens. Wish me luck.smiley - wahsmiley - cheerup


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 8

Gnomon - time to move on

I never liked the em dash as a parenthesis, but I recognise that some people use them and that they are different from hyphens.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 9

Gnomon - time to move on

The international standard is to use lowercase letters for the names of all units, such as hertz, ampere and ohm, even when they are named after people. The abbreviations on the other hand reflect the name origin by being uppercase: Hz and A (but not O, Ohms uses a Greek Omega).

But it's only a small point. It doesn't worry me if you use Hertz.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 10

Gnomon - time to move on

I think you've gone overboard on the footnotes. It reminds me of Flann O'Brien who narrated an entire story in the footnotes of one of his novels, culminating in a footnote that ran to nearly two entire pages.

If you that much to say, might it be worth saying in the entry itself?


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 11

Recumbentman

No no Hertz is gone! Long live Hertz! I've moved the words about so now it says "named after Hertz" -- cunning, eh? Like the manoeuvres people do to avoid splitting the infinitive. (Hate that. I'd prefer them to boldly split.)

Enjoying Greece? Lucky sucker. Hope your inbox has a thousand urgent messages inextricably mixed with ten thousand spams when you get back.

No I don't, smiley - smiley have a great time in Corfu. smiley - redwine


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 12

Recumbentman

In recognition for your help to me when I turned up here as a newbie I have removed all em dashes. smiley - rose


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 13

Recumbentman

"might it be worth saying in the entry itself?"

I'm afraid it's worse than that. It is possible and therefore desirable to describe sol-fa without bringing temperament into the question at all. This should really be two entries. Perhaps I should withdraw it from Peer Review while I effect a surgerical separation.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 14

Recumbentman

Surgery complete, both patients doing well so-far. smiley - cool


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 15

Geggs

It sunk to the end of PR!

Any more for any more?


Geggs


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 16

Recumbentman

smiley - erm I suppose that's some sort of distinction . . . the topic nobody wanted to touch.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 17

Geggs

Don't worry. You're not alone.

I came across one entry yesterday that had sunk to the end of PR without a single comment, so at least you're doing better than that.


Geggs


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 18

David Conway

It actually looks pretty good to me. You've tackled a huge topic and covered it well, using about 1/20 the words I would have.

Maybe the lack of comment is because there's nothing more to say, except for the part about "Congratulations! One of our Scouts has...?"

0 - who lives with a singer with perfect pitch, a four octive range and a complete inability to read musical scores.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 19

Recumbentman

Thank you O! Perfect pitch can be a mixed blessing, but four octaves . . . wa hey!smiley - ok

Thing about perfect pitch: it often seems a cultural thing. Trad, jazz or rock singers never need to be given a note, barbershop singers are lost without their little mouth organs.


A1012230 - Sol-fa: the key to the riddle of staff notation

Post 20

Sea Change

On my way to learning other things, I have encountered something called tetrachords, exemplified perhaps in the Prophetsiae Syballorum. Are they connected hexachords or to Sol-Fa in any way?

Is it an americanism that Sol-Fa is called solfege, or are these different concepts?

I knew what you were talking about in reference to the asymmetry of the staves, but I don't think a non-singer would understand. Typically when you play and instrument, you can assign any particular note to any particular space without worrying about any symmetry. I know that my piano playing was based solely on an intuitive idea of how much fingerstretch was needed to make the piece sound consonant, and matching that to the symbols on the paper.

Because of this, I was expecting your article to be less practical and more music-critical (eurrgh!).


Key: Complain about this post

More Conversations for Sol-fa (1): the key to the riddle of staff notation

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more