So, sometime last week I said I was going to try to up my guitar skills by training my ear and perhaps learning some music theory basics, like why you never have an F sharp and a B flat in the same song.
Somewhere buried in YouTube videos about megahertz and chord roots I saw an advertisement for this wonderful “long-lost technique” for learning music called the Kodály method.
“Cool!” I thought, “That sounds great.”
You know what the Kodály method is? It’s this:
This stunned me, because Wikipedia says that this method - all this ta - ta - ti / do - re - mi business - came about in the mid fifties. I can attest it was entrenched in the late sixties: I have a distinct memory of a music teacher giving me the Sol sign at shoulder height and saying “ti - ti- taa!” And clapping, lots of clapping.
What I find amazing is:
1) There was a time — evidently before the mid-fifties — when people learned to sing, and they did it without without any do - re - mis or ti - ti - taas.
2) The Sound of Music came out in the mid-sixties, just ten years into this method, and already “do - re - mi” was enough of a thing to star in a song.
3) There is advanced do - re - mi. It is how you express the sharps and flats. Do - di - re - ri, etc. Go here for all the notes.
And, it’s no wonder that when I began reading music I asked, “What note is ‘Do?’” Evidently I learned “Moveable Do.” It’s “Fixed Do” that would answer that question, and I believe the answer would be C.
I am skeptical that this method is out of favor. How else could you ever know what notes were?