The Musician's Dice

Meet the Solfège Dice!

The Solfége Dice by Jeff Kingfisher


What is Solfège?

Solfège (sol-FEZH) is a system of syllables that indicate notes in a musical scale. The C Major Scale, for example – C,D,E, F, G, A, B, C – can be represented in Solfège by the syllables do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do.  

A Bb Major scale – although it begins on a different note than a C Major Scale – is represented in Solfège by those same syllables. This holds true for any Major Scale started on any pitch: Solfége is not about specific notes, but about relationships between notes.


Advantages and Uses of Solfège.

• Solfège can function as a kind of musical shorthand, especially in vocal groups. Singers can be directed without having to be fluent in all 12 keys.

• No pitch reference is needed to work in Solfège – no sheet music nor piano. It’s great in a capella environments.

• Solfège is learned by – and is dependent upon – our ears. Becoming fluent in it can be a gateway to fluency in playing, singing, and listening: one becomes less “tied to the page”.

Who uses Solfège?

Singers, music educators, music students, composers, orchestrators, instrumentalists... anyone who has a need to communicate pitch information regardless of key.

How are the actual dice used?

• As an educational tool. Dice can be rolled and students can sing what comes up, either horizontally as a melody, or vertically as harmony. This is great ear training! In theory classes, students can be asked to define rolled Solfège notes in different keys (Example: what is ti in the key of E?).

• As a compositional tool. The Solfège Dice – like the Musician’s Dice – can be used in creating compositions from random elements.

Which should I get, the Musician’s Dice or the Solfège Dice?

The Musician’s Dice have, perhaps, a somewhat broader appeal. While the Solfège Dice can be enjoyed by musicians of all stripes as well, they are especially appropriate for singers and educators.

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