Do Re Mi Scale: What It Stands For, Where It Originated & How to Use It

Published Categorized as Scales, Songs

While you are reading this article and I am typing the words do re mi fa so la ti scale, you are most likely singing the scale already in your head. The do re mi fa so la ti scale is an extremely memorable melody line that you most likely remember from the song ‘De Re Mi’ that was performed in The Sound of Music film by Julie Andrews in 1965.

Even though the do re mi fa so la ti scale is a memorable music theater hit, what is the do re mi fa so la ti scale and how is it used by vocalists and musicians across the world?

In this article, we will explore what the do re mi fa so la ti scale stands for, where the do re mi fa so la ti scale originated and how you can use the do re mi fa so la ti scale to improve your vocals and pitching skills.

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Table of Contents

What Is the Do Re Mi Scale?

The do re mi scale is a shortened name for the scale do re mi fa so la ti. The scale is widely known by musicians and vocalists across the world and has been in existence for over 200 years. 

The do re mi scale is also called solfege and the musical notes sung with the scale represent the seven solfège syllables. The musical notes that are sung are from the C major scale and are sung in rising order.

Solfege is known to be a skill that can teach transcribing and written music as well as composing skills and harmony skills. Solfege can also teach pitch correction and pitch intervals. The do re me scale is used at an early stage of the vocalist’s career to teach new singers how to sing and read musical notes.

What Is Do Re Mi Called?

The do re me scale is officially referred to and called solfege. Solfege is the method of being able to name pitches of notes. The way solfege works are by matching each note of the musical scale by aligning them to a memorable syllable. For example, the C major scale is musically named as C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C but you can also refer to the notes as do re mi fa sol la ti do.

What Are the Do Re Mi Notes

The Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Scale represents 8 whole notes. By whole notes, I have referred to notes that do not have any sharps or any flat and are known as the white keys on the piano. 

Normally when we study different kinds of music scales, there are twelve notes within the scale. These twelve common notes are A, A sharp, B, C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, F, F sharp, G, and G sharp. 

In the Do Re Me Scale, the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Notes are C, D, E, F, G, A, B, and C. If you are wondering how the syllables and the notes correlate, let me show you how! The ‘do’ is sung as a middle C, ‘re’ is sung as a D, ‘me’ is sung as an E, ‘fa’ is sung as an F, ‘so’ is sung as a G, ‘la’ is sung as an A, ‘ti’ is sung as a B and ‘do’ is such as a C an octave above middle C.

Do Re Me Scale

The official name for the Do Re Mi Scale Notes and technique is called solfege. The do re mi scale can be applied to other keys, other than the key of C.

For example, if you want to sing the do re mi scale but in the key of A then the do re mi scale notes will be a little different. The reason the do re mi scale notes will be a little different is that the ‘do’ will start from the core of the scale which is A. The A major scale also does contain some sharp notes whereas the C major scale did not.

If we are going to sing the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do Notes in the key of A then the ‘do’ is sung as an A, the ‘re’ is sung as a B, and the ‘mi’ is sung as a C sharp, etc.

What Note Is Do?

‘Do’ is always either the starting C note or the C which is an octave above. ‘Do’ is the most important reference to the song as it instantly takes you to middle C, which is a reference point for every scale and note and it is the central point of the keyboard.

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Music Scale Do Re Mi Uses

The musical scale does re mi can have plenty of benefits and uses if incorporated into your learning and everyday singing routine. Even using the scale as a practice exercise in your vocal warm-up can help open up the vocal cords and improve your voice long-term. 

Understanding the do re mi scale and what each syllable represents is what will really benefit your singing career.

If you understand how each note relates to each syllable and what each note is called, then the quality of your pitching and understanding of practical theory will improve. Memorizing the information that is taught by solfege and the do re mi scale is the first place to start. Once you have memorized the scale, you can start to understand what the scale is trying to teach you.

What the Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Scale Teaches

The do re mi fa so la ti musical scale teaches the difference between note intervals and how to recognize them. Once you have learned how this looks on paper and what each note sounds like, the do re mi fa so la ti musical scale is an ideal perfect guide to working out any other pieces of music.

What Is the Origin of the Do Re Mi Scale?

The ‘do re mi fa so la ti do’ musical scale originated in eleventh-century Italy. The musician and theorist Guido of Arezzo decided to invent a notational system that would name the six notes of the hexachord. Guido of Arezzo named each sixth note after the first syllable of each line of a Latin hymn called ‘Hymn to St. John the Baptist’. This sequence has lived on and is still taught by vocalists and musicians today.

Why You Should Learn the Do Re Mi Scale

There are several reasons why you should learn the do re mi scale sequence. If you are a vocalist that performs daily or wants to expand your voice, learning the do re mi scale and incorporating it into your singing routine could help with various singing techniques. If you are a vocalist teacher, then learning the do re mi scale sequence will be crucial to your teaching techniques.

Here is a list of benefits that could apply to you if you learn how to incorporate the do re me scale:

  • Developing learning of recurring musical patterns
  • Sight-singing
  • Sight-reading
  • Transcribe music
  • Composition
  • Relative pitch

Developing Learning of Recurring Musical Patterns

The do re me scale can help you to understand recurring patterns with a melody and what each interval between the notes is. Each melody is unique and will have different note sequences and intervals. When you start learning a large amount of material you will start to notice similar interval patterns, ie melody patterns.

The do re mi scale can help teach you about these interval gaps and therefore you will start to see them and understand them when looking at other pieces of music.

Sight Singing

Sight-singing is a key skill you will need to have if you would like to sing in musical theater, any kind of musical production show, or a choir. Learning the do re mi scale can help you understand what notes you are singing and help navigate you when learning how to sing based on musical transcripts.

Sight Reading

Sight-reading is a very similar skill to sight-singing. Sight-reading is being able to sing based on reading notes that are marked on the musical transcripts. These two skills are essential when auditioning for singing roles or singing in a large group. Learning the do re mi scale can help you understand what notes you are singing and help navigate you when learning how to sing based on musical transcripts.

Transcribe Music

Learning the do re mi scale and solfege will help you understand the concept of written music and will allow you to transcribe what notes you are hearing to what you will need to write down as a reference. The do re mi scale can be a reference point to what each note stands for and is a great teaching technique. 

Composition

Having a firm understanding of solfege, which can come via knowing the do re mi scale can help you massively when composing. Understanding what other instruments are meant to be playing can help your own composition skills.

Relative Pitch

The do re mi scale can help you work out what notes you are hearing and even help you reference intervals of semitones.

How to Learn The Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Musical Scale

The easiest way to learn the do re me fa so la ti notes and musical scale is to practice the famous song ‘Do Re Mi’ from the 1965 musical film ‘The Sound Of Music’.

‘Do Re Mi’ Lyrics

The lyrics are key to getting you started and will help you remember the different sounds you will need to memorize. Here are the main lyrics to ‘Do Re Mi’ from ‘The Sound Of Music’:

Do, a deer, a female deer
Re, a drop of golden sun
Mi, a name, I call myself
Fa, a long, long way to run
So, a needle pulling thread
La, a note to follow So
Ti, a drink with jam and bread
That will bring us back to Do, oh, oh, oh

Here is the performance of ‘Do Re Mi’ from ‘The Sound Of Music’ to show you how to sing each lyric:

Songs That Use Do Re Mi

There is a wide range of songs that use the scale do re mi within their melodies. These songs vary in genre and also use. Some of the songs that include the do re mi scale within the main vocal melody are designed to teach whereas other songs are written for musical purposes only.

Here is a list of the most well-known songs that include the do re mi scale within the main vocal melody:

  • Do-Re-Mi
  • Allison’s Camel
  • Babylon’s Falling
  • Ain’t Gonna Ring No More
  • All Through the Night
  • Au Clair de la Lune
  • Buttercup

“Do-Re-Mi” – THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Do Re Mi was one of the many hit songs that originated from The Sound Of Music film that was released in 1965. Before The Sound of Music film, Do Re Mi was written for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music which started in 1959. The song is used within the storyline as the main character Maria uses the song to teach the solfège of the major musical scale.

Allison’s Camel

Allison’s Camel is another song that uses the sequence of the do re me scales. Allison’s Camel is a children’s nursery rhyme that is designed to teach children to count down.

Babylon’s Falling

Babylon’s Falling is a song that was originally written by Richard McNemar in 1813. The song is a folk hymn.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do Represents What?

Do Re Me Fa So la Ti represents a technique that is used to teach musical scales. The Do Re Me Fa So la Ti technique actually uses the C major scale. For example, ‘do’ is sung as a C, ‘re’ is sung as a D, ‘me’ is sung as an E, ‘fa’ is sung as an F, ‘so’ is sung as a G, ‘la’ is sung as an A, ‘ti’ is sung as a B and ‘do’ is such as a C.

Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do C Scale?

If you are remembering the song ‘do re mi fa sol la ti’ from The Sound of Music, then you may be thinking that it represents a scale. This is one hundred percent correct as the song do re mi fa sol la ti’ is actually the C major scale rising with the first note actually being a C.

The Do Re MI Fa So La Ti Scale Is Crucial to Your Vocal and Musical Theory Learning

Knowing the do re mi fa so la ti musical scale is a crucial step to take when aiming to improve your vocal ability and your music theory ability. The do re mi fa so la ti musical scale may be an ancient exercise but the reason it is still widely used today is that it is a genius way of teaching note intervals.

Learning the do re mi fa so la ti musical scale can help you when developing the learning of recurring musical patterns, sight-singing, sight-reading, transcribing music, composing, and learning the relative pitch of what you are singing. 

Practicing the do re mi fa so la ti musical scale can help you warm up your voice and care for your vocal cords while also helping with regularly pitching and pitch control. The do re mi fa so la ti musical scale is an easy vocal practice to learn and an activity you can do at home with no difficulty.

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By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

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