ut, do, si, ti
August 26, 2005 11:36 AM   Subscribe

Are "ut" and "si" just variants of "do" and "ti", respectively, or is there more to it than that?
posted by Wolfdog to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
Best answer: Ut and si are earlier versions of do and ti. Do is more singable than ut, so that was a pretty obvious change to make. Si was changed to ti so that each solfege syllable started with its own consonant; otherwise si would duplicate sol. This is especially important when you consider the chromatic variants of solfege syllables. Under the current system, if you raise or lower a note you keep the consonant of the syllable but change the vowel. So under this system, a raised fifth is also called si. To avoid this confusion, ti is the preferred version.

Solfege wiki
posted by speicus at 11:45 AM on August 26, 2005

Best answer: Ut is the old form of 'do'. 'si' is one of the chromatic solfeggi.

In C major:
C = do
C# = di
Db = ra
D = re
D# = ri
Eb = me
E = mi
F = fa
F# = fi
Gb = se
G = so
G# = si
Ab = le
A = la
A# = li
Bb = te
B = ti
posted by Lyric at 11:46 AM on August 26, 2005

It might also be worth noting that the names of the syllables started as a sort of acrostic for a hymn, Ut queant laxis. Each syllable in the solfege was the first syllable of a line in the hymn. Thus the original version started with "Ut," as mentioned above, but this was changed because "do" is more singable. From the wiki page on the hymn, it sounds like the change from "si" to "ti" only happened in English, but it doesn't give a reason.
posted by stopgap at 12:03 PM on August 26, 2005

In my (American) university choir we always sing si rather than ti. I'm not really sure why. Is this common?
posted by ludwig_van at 5:38 PM on August 26, 2005

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