[Smt-talk] Movable Do Subculture

JAY RAHN jayrahn at rogers.com
Mon Jul 16 20:32:24 PDT 2012

Whereas Curwen's tonic sol-fa method is well documented throughout the British Empire, the (Rousseau-)Galin-Paris-Cheve system seems also to have circulated far beyond the metropole. Unlike Curwen's method, it employs numerals 1 to 7; like Curwen's method, it is movable: e.g., in D major, 1 corresponds to D. 

I have encountered this 'movable-1' cipher system in East and Southeast Asia, where it is still widely used not only for 'traditional' idioms but also international pop songs. Ethnomusicologists have claimed the Asian practice is an adaptation of the French system, but I have not yet found a convincing historical account of such a connection.  

Jay Rahn, York University (Toronto) 

--- On Mon, 7/16/12, Jonathan Santore <jsantore at mail.plymouth.edu> wrote:

From: Jonathan Santore <jsantore at mail.plymouth.edu>
 Re: [Smt-talk] Movable Do Subculture
To: "Dmitri Tymoczko" <dmitri at princeton.edu>
Cc: "smt-talk smt" <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
Date: Monday, July 16, 2012, 12:45 PM

#yiv1043640856  p {margin:0;}Apologies for any confusion I might have caused, Dmitri (T). While I can't speak to your point about the general level of discussion on our list of late, I can say that list discussions of solmization throughout the years have consistently generated more heat than light. It seems to me that this is a question that could be examined objectively with a carefully-designed study, if such studies don't already exist -- I hope someone takes it up.
All best,
Jonathan C. Santore, Ph.D., Chair
Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance -- MSC 37
Plymouth State University
17 High St. 
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
(603) 535-2232
jsantore at mail.plymouth.edu

On Jul 14, 2012, at 7:15 PM, Jonathan Santore wrote:

> Dmitri hints at what I feel is one of the major issues behind the great solmization debate -

I just want to remind everyone that "Dmitri [Tymoczko]" and "Dimitar [Ninov]" are two entirely separate people -- one at Princeton, one at Texas.

I haven't been contributing to the list much, recently, because I worry that the level of discussion is deteriorating.  There seems to be a lot more shouting and a lot less scholarship than there was a few years ago.  It's gotten to the point where I've been contemplating starting a new list with a much more rigorous moderation policy.


Dmitri Tymoczko
Professor of Music
310 Woolworth
Princeton, NJ 08544-1007
(609) 258-4255 (ph), (609) 258-6793 (fax)

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