Do TonicDo, a Tonic or Key Note,

Re, on Supertonic shines,

Mi, for Mediant you quote,

Fa, Sub-Dominant defines,

So, to Dominant must go,

La, Sub-Mediant will show,

Te, as Leading Note, below

Do, next Tonic up, assigns!

© Colonialist December 2013 (WordPress)


About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies.
This entry was posted in Colonialist, verse, writing, music composition, fantasy, Africa, journal., Music, Parody, Really Awful Rhyme and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Very clever lyrics, Col, but I can’t see your version catching on. 🙂


  2. bluebee says:

    Lost on this musical illiterate, I’m afraid. I spent most of my childhood piano lessons sneezing 😯


  3. You have a wonderful blog and it is a pleasure to be here viewing your creativity. Hugs, Barbara


  4. You had me singing up the scale there. I love reading music. I can sit reading Verdi’s Requiem for hours, with or without the record on!


    • colonialist says:

      Most people seeing someone reading music like a novel will conclude that they have gone completely round the bend! Actually, it is a skill I would love to have. My reading translates into mechanical actions on whichever instrument I happen to be playing, and thence into sound. For some odd reason, that doesn’t impede me when I’m writing music.


  5. calmgrove says:

    By the way, the tonic sol-fa system, far from being a fiendish invention by the French, is international: based on the initial letters of a Latin hymn, popularised as the gamut in Germany, systematised by the Englishman John Curwen, adapted by the Hungarian Kodaly from its use in Wales and made familiar by an American musical based on an Austrian family.


    • colonialist says:

      A lot of fingers certainly mixed that pie!
      We can still blame the French for it. Blaming them is an old established British custom. 🙂


      • calmgrove says:

        And, perhaps allegedly, Napoleon not only characterised Britain as a nation of shopkeepers (compliment or insult?) but as ‘perfidious Albion’. But it could be somebody else. Probably was. Maybe.


        • colonialist says:

          And Rosbifs and Frogs name one another according to alleged dietary preferences. Yet in England it is still considered clever to be able to offer le mot juste in French; however their president didn’t endear himself with disparaging ‘Island’ remarks, as well as toadying up to the Obama twit.


  6. calmgrove says:

    There’s a logic to the seemingly arbitrary technical names of the degrees of the scale which isn’t always apparent let alone taught to students.

    Taking the tonic as the fixed datum:
    the Dominant dominates a fifth above, the Subdominant is subordinate a fifth below;
    the Mediant is midway between tonic and dominant, the Submediant midway between tonic and subdominant;
    leaving the Supertonic flying like Superman above the tonic, and the Leading note which ‘leads us back to doh’, the tonic.



    • colonialist says:

      These are some of the fascinating patterns that can be found in music theory. Others lie in the alphabetical progression of starting notes in the various major and minor scales, skipping one and top to bottom for sharps while the opposite for flats. while knowing that the first sharp (F) or flat (B) determines where in the progression one starts to sharpen or flatten the first notes.
      For fun, based on your reminders regarding the relationships, I have now drawn up a two-scale example of solfa and tonic, with brackets to illustrate them.


  7. bulldog says:

    As a complete idiot when it comes to music… I am lost with this… but it does look as though it could be helpful to some… my music experience is switching on the radio… I do love that movie though and watched it every time it comes on…


  8. misswhiplash says:

    Lovely.but Sound of Music!,, no, every year without fail that has been on over xmas..over and over again. It is time to bury it and Mary Poppins


  9. I’ve been reading music since I was 4, but I can’t get to grips with the French solfege system!


  10. nrhatch says:

    I’m afraid the children would have taken a bit longer to learn how to sing if Julie had used your words. :mrgreen:


  11. granny1947 says:

    You really know how to make me feel dumb sometimes!!!


  12. The Asian says:

    The Sound of Music is going to be showing at the theatre from April. I’m hoping that I get the chance to see it


  13. newsferret says:

    Brought back memories of a great movie from the romantic age and also memories of visiting some of the nature areas where some of the filming took place. Thanks for giving away our ages 😀 😀


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