Note Names in Solfège and the Major Scale / Music Theory Lesson

Author: sleepfreaks

Understanding the Space and Relationship Between Notes


First, lets start by learning about the Major Scale + more that is essential for music production.

First, give a listen to this audio:

“Isn’t that ‘C D E F G A B C’? Wait, it sounds different!”
You may have perfect pitch if you noticed a difference.



Actually, the notes played were “D E F# G A B C# D”.

However, you can still sing “do re mi fa so la ti do” over these notes without any problems.

Ignoring the note names above for a moment,
the layout that most people picture when hearing “do re mi fa so la ti do” is as shown below.


You may have learned do-re-mi as a child.
However, these notes actually makeup what is called the C Major Scale.

Many of you may have heard of chord names such as “major chords” and “minor chords”.

  • Major = Bright / Minor = Dark

Lets keep these themes in mind.

Though we will be covering these concepts later in detail, lets give a listen to the following 4 sounds.

  • C Major Scale Up Down
  • C Minor Scale Up Down
  • C Major Chord
  • C Minor Chord

Regardless of being a scale or chord,

Major sounds bright,

whereas Minor has a dark tonality.

However, what is the scale of a C major scale.

  • Scale = an alignment of notes from low to high (or vice versa)

Simply put, it is how the notes are placed in order.


C major scale is a bright sounding scale that starts from the note C.
Lets take a look at the spacing between each note as well.


The notes are lined up in “whole whole half whole whole whole half” step intervals.

Lets take a look at the intervals between the notes of the previous “D E F# G A B C# D” scale as well.

D maj

It follows the same “whole whole half whole whole whole half” rule.
This means the distance between the notes is the same as the C major scale.


Of course, this spacing is the same on the piano roll as well.

It is important to know that the note intervals never change.
By following these intervals, you can create a major scale starting from any note.

C to  D

After sequencing a C major scale and selecting all the notes,
move the base note from C to D.

You can keep the same interval between notes and move them simultaneously.
Because the intervals remain the same, the new scale becomes a D Major Scale.

Using this technique, you can move the major scale to any of the 12 keys.

Now you can easily access the major scale in any key you wish,
and we recommend taking a listen to the major scale in each key for practice.

Solfège – Movable Do

Previously we had mentioned that “you can still sing “do re mi fa so la ti do” over these notes without any problems”.


When singing karaoke, even if the key is changed, the song remains the same.
Great songs are still great songs.

This is because the musical intervals and content remain in the same relative places and are just moved collectively up and down.

Next, lets take a look at note names.

  • Solfège = The method of calling the base note of a scale “do”. Also known as movable do.

D maj

The notes that make up the “D major scale” are “D E F# G A B C# D”.
The D (root note) is considered the “do”.

The intervals between the notes are the same as “do re mi fa so la ti do”.
Because of this, “D E F# G A B C# D” can be interpreted as “do re mi fa so la ti do”.

Even if many “♯/♭” are added in more complicated keys to play,
they can be thought of as “do re mi fa so la ti do” if they follow the same intervals.

“Solfège” makes the relationship between notes easier to understand.

Article Writer: Kazuma Itoh

講師 伊藤
After moving to the USA at 18 years of age with a scholarship from Berklee, he completed a 4 year study focused on song writing and arranging there.
Using this knowledge, he works across a variety of fields from pop music, film music, and more.