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Musical terminology varies from language to language. While the vast majority of musical terms are similar, there are a handful which are not. These create confusion for many of studybass' readers who study music in languages other than American-English. I've highlighted a few of the most common differences below.

The 7th Note SI is TI

In Romance languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc.) notes are named with solfège syllables—DO, RE, MI, FA, SOL, LA, SI, DO.

The solfège system used in many countries—including the United States—was revised in the 1800's so that all notes begin with a different letter. The 7th note Si was replaced with Ti.

In American-, and British-English, the solfège syllables are DO, RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI, DO. If you listen to the Rodgers and Hammerstein song DO-RE-MI from The Sound of Music, you will notice the lyric for the 7th note is Tea- a drink with jam and bread.

Throughout studybass, SI will be referred to as TI.

Fixed Do vs. Movable Do

Romance languages and many other countries use a note naming system called Fixed DO. Fixed DO means DO is always equal to the note C. For example:

Note:
C
D
E
F
G
A
B
C
Syllable:
DO
RE
MI
FA
SOL
LA
TI (or SI)
DO

An alternate system, commonly used throughout the world, is called Movable DO. In the Movable DO system, DO is always equal to the root note of the key. For the key of G major, the movable DO syllables would look like this:

Note:
G
A
B
C
D
E
F#
G
Syllable:
DO
RE
MI
FA
SO
LA
TI
DO

Which system to use is a matter of opinion. I believe movable DO makes more sense though it will be confusing for you if you are accustomed to fixed DO. When you transpose the key of a song, the syllables remain the same even though the note names change.

Solfège syllables are commonly used for ear training to help students hear notes in the context of a key. Because few people possess absolute pitch (being able to identify notes without a reference note), I think movable DO is more useful as it is built around relative pitch.

Throughout studybass.com, I will use the movable Do system when using solfège syllables. For fixed notes I will always use the letter names—C, D, E, etc.

Rhythmic Value Names (Crotchets and Quarter Notes)

The names of rhythmic values differ between American-English and British-English. British-English rhythmic value names are rooted in an older form of musical notation rarely used today called mensural notation. In American-English, rhythmic value names are based on fractions of a measure of 4/4 music.

American-English
British-English
Double Whole Note
Breve
Whole
Semibreve
Half
Minim
Quarter
Crotchet
Eighth
Quaver
Sixteenth
Semiquaver

I think the fractional naming convention used in American-English is easier for learning and understanding rhythm than the British-English system. It does cause some logical problems in time signatures other than 4/4, but this is eventually not a concern for musicians once the system is learned.

Studybass always uses the American-English names for rhythmic values.

Summary

Hopefully this article has cleared up some confusion for you if you study music in something other than American-English.

Andrew Pouska
StudyBass