• A Breakdown Of The Sol-fa Notes Of Your Favorite Hymns

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    If you’ve always wanted to learn the sol-fa notes of your favorite hymns and how they can be played on the piano, this lesson is for you.

    One of the potent ways of mastering the melody of hymns is with the use of sol-fa notes. I can tell you that because it has helped musicians several centuries before now, it’s helping so many musicians at the moment, and I guarantee you that it will help musicians even in the next 1000 years.

    Before we go into the 9 hymns we’re learning in this lesson, let’s do a short study on the sol-fa system.

    A Short Note On The Sol-fa System

    The sol-fa system is a long-established notation that dates back to the 11th century. In the letter notation, notes are represented with Roman alphabets like:

    A B C D E F and G

    …while in the sol-fa notation system, notes are represented using sound syllables:

    Do Re Mi Fa Sol La and Ti

    There are two known approaches to the sol-fa system – the “fixed do” system and the “moveable do” system.

    The “Fixed Do” System

    In the “fixed do” system, every natural note on the piano has its syllable and C is always do.

    “Check It Out…”

    C:

    …is do.

    D:

    …is re.

    E:

    …is mi.

    F:

    …is fa.

    G:

    …is sol.

    A:

    …is la.

    B:

    …is ti.

    The “Moveable Do” System

    In the “moveable do” system, do is the first degree of the scale and varies from key to key. In the key of F major:

    F:

    …is do.

    G:

    …is re.

    A:

    …is mi, and so on.

    In the key of A major:

    A:

    …is do.

    B:

    …is re.

    C#:

    …is mi, and so on.

    A Breakdown Of Hymn Melodies Using Sol-fa Notes

    Let’s go ahead and break down the melody of your favorite hymn songs using solfa notes.

    Hymn #1 – Amazing Grace (In The Key Of G)

    In the key of G major:

    G is do

    A is re

    B is mi

    C is fa

    D is sol

    E is la

    F# is ti

    G is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn Amazing Grace:

    A(sol) ma(do) zing(mi) grace(mi)! How(re) sweet(do) the(la) sound(sol)
    That(sol) saved(do) a(mi) wretch(mi) like(re) me(sol)!
    I(mi) once(sol) was(mi) lost(mi), but(re) now(do) am(la) found(sol);
    Was(sol) blind(do), but(mi) now(mi) I(re) see(do).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    A:

    …ma:

    …zing:

    grace:

    how:

    sweet:

    the:

    sound:

    Hymn #2 – Holy, Holy, Holy (In The Key Of E)

    In the key of E major:

    E is do

    F# is re

    G# is mi

    A is fa

    B is sol

    C# is la

    D# is ti

    E is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy:

    Ho(do) ly(do), ho(mi) ly(mi), ho(sol) ly(sol)! Lord(la) God(la) Al(la) migh(sol) ty(mi)!
    Ear(sol) ly(sol) in(sol) the(sol) mor(do) ning(ti) our(sol) song(re) shall(sol) rise(la) to(sol) Thee(sol);
    Ho(do) ly(do), ho(mi) ly(mi), ho(sol) ly(sol), mer(la) ci(la) ful(la) and(la) migh(sol) ty(sol)!
    God(do) in(sol) three(sol) Per(la) sons(mi), ble(fa) ssèd(re) Tri(re) ni(do) ty(do)!

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    Ho:

    …ly:

    Ho:

    …ly:

    Ho:

    …ly:

    Lord:

    God:

    Al:

    …migh:

    …ty:

    Hymn #3 – How Great Thou Art (In The Key Of Bb)

    In the key of Bb major:

    Bb is do

    C is re

    D is mi

    Eb is fa

    F is sol

    G is la

    A is ti

    Bb is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn How Great Thou Art:

    O(sol) Lord(sol) my(sol) God(mi)! When(sol) I(sol) in(sol) awe(la) some(la) won(fa) der(la)
    Con(la) si(la) der(la) all(sol) the(mi) works(sol) thy(sol) hand(fa) hath(fa) made(mi),
    I(sol) see(sol) the(sol) stars(mi), I(sol) hear(sol) the(sol) migh(la) ty(la) thun(fa) der(la),
    Thy(la) power(la) through(la) out(sol) the(mi) u(sol) ni(sol) verse(fa) dis(fa) played(mi);

    Refrain:
    Then(sol) sings(sol) my(do) soul(mi), my(re) Sa(do) viour(ti) God(do), to(la) Thee(sol),
    How(do) great(do) Thou(ti) art(re), how(fa) great(la) Thou(sol) art(mi)!
    Then(sol) sings(sol) my(do) soul(mi), my(re) Sa(do) viour(ti) God(do), to(la) Thee(sol),
    How(do) great(ti) Thou(do) art(re), how(mi) great(fa) Thou(ti) art(do)!

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    Oh:

    Lord:

    my:

    God:

    When:

    I:

    in:

    awe:

    …some:

    won:

    …der:

    Hymn #4 – Rock Of Ages (In The Key Of Eb)

    In the key of Eb major:

    Eb is do

    F is re

    G is mi

    Ab is fa

    Bb is sol

    C is la

    D is ti

    Eb is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn Rock Of Ages:

    Rock(sol) of(la) A(sol) ges(mi), cleft(do) for(la) me(sol),
    Let(do) me(re) hide(mi) my(re) self(do) in(ti) Thee(do);
    Let(ti) the(do) wa(re) ter(re) and(ti) the(sol) blood(do),
    From(ti) Thy(do) woun(re) ded(re) side(ti) which(sol) flowed(do),
    Be(sol) of(sol) sin(sol) the(sol) dou(sol) ble(sol) cure(sol);
    Save(sol) from(sol) wrath(sol) and(sol) make(sol) me(sol) pure(sol).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    Rock:

    of:

    a:

    …ges:

    cleft:

    for:

    me:

    Hymn #5 – Joyful, Joyful (In The Key Of Ab)

    In the key of Ab major:

    Ab is do

    Bb is re

    C is mi

    Db is fa

    Eb is sol

    F is la

    G is ti

    Ab is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn Joyful, Joyful:

    Joy(mi) ful(mi), joy(fa) ful(sol), we(sol) a(fa) dore(mi) Thee(re), God(do) of(do) glo(re) ry(mi), Lord(mi) of(re) love(re);
    Hearts(mi) un(mi) fold(fa) like(sol) flowers(sol) be(fa) fore(mi) Thee(re), o(do) pening(do) to(re) the(mi) sun(re) a(do) bove(do).
    Melt(re) the(re) clouds(mi) of(do) sin(re) and(fa) sad(mi) ness(do); drive(re) the(fa) dark(mi) of(re) doubt(do) a(re) way(sol);
    Gi(mi) ver(mi) of(fa) im(sol) mor(sol) tal(fa) glad(mi) ness(re), fill(do) us(do) with(re) the(mi) light(re) of(do) day(do)!

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    Joy:

    …ful:

    joy:

    …ful:

    we:

    a:

    …dore:

    …thee:

    Lord:

    of:

    glo:

    …ry:

    Lord:

    of:

    love:

    Hymn #6 – It Is Well With My Soul (In The Key Of F)

    In the key of F major:

    F is do

    G is re

    A is mi

    Bb is fa

    C is sol

    D is la

    E is ti

    F is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn It Is Well With My Soul:

    When(sol) peace(sol), like(fa) a(mi) ri(mi) ver(re), a(mi) tte(fa) en(la) deth(sol) my(fa) way(mi),
    When(sol) so(do) rrows(do) like(ti) sea(la) bi(sol) llows(fe) roll(sol);
    What(sol) e(do) ver(do) my(ti) lot(la), Thou(la) has(la) taught(re) me(re) to(do) say(ti),
    It(la) is(sol) well(do), it(do) is(do) well(do), with(ti) my(ti) soul(do).

    Refrain

    It(sol) is(sol) well(sol), with(re) my(fa) soul(mi),
    It(sol) is(sol) well(sol), with(re) my(fa) soul(mi),
    It(sol) is(sol) well(la), it(do) is(do) well(do), with(ti) my(ti) soul(do).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    When:

    peace:

    like:

    a:

    ri:

    …ver:

    a:

    …tte:

    …en:

    …deth:

    my:

    way:

    Hymn #7 – The Old Rugged Cross (In The Key Of Bb)

    In the key of Bb major:

    Bb is do

    C is re

    D is mi

    Eb is fa

    F is sol

    G is la

    A is ti

    Bb is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn The Old Rugged Cross:

    On(mi) a(fa) hill(sol) far(fe) a(la) way(sol) stood(sol) an(sol) old(la) ru(se) gged(ti) cross(la),
    The(la) em(ti) blem(la) of(sol) su(fa) ffering(sol) and(fa) shame(mi);
    And(mi) I(fa) love(sol) that(fe) old(la) cross(sol) where(sol) the(sol) dear(la) est(se) and(ti) best(la)
    For(la) a(la) world(ti) of(la) lost(sol) si(fa) nners(mi) was(re) slain(do).

    Refrain

    So(ti) I’ll(do) che(re) rish(re) the(re) old(re) ru(do) gged(ti) cross(do),
    Till(do) my(ti) tro(la) phies(la) at(la) last(do) I(ti) lay(la) down(sol);
    I(sol) will(do) cling(mi) to(mi) the(mi) old(mi) ru(fa) gged(mi) cross(la),
    And(fa) ex(fa) change(mi) it(re) some(do) day(ti) for(do) a(re) crown(do).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    On:

    a:

    hill:

    far:

    a:

    …way:

    stood:

    an:

    old:

    ru:

    …gged:

    cross:

    Hymn #8 – Blessed Assurance (In The key Of D)

    In the key of D major:

    D is do

    E is re

    F# is mi

    G is fa

    A is sol

    B is la

    C# is ti

    D is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn Blessed Assurance:

    Ble(mi) ssed(re) a(do) ssur(sol) ance(sol), Je(fa) sus(sol) is(la) mine(sol)!
    O(sol) what(mi) a(sol) fore(do) taste(ti) of(ti) glo(la) ry(sol) di(fe) vine(sol)!
    Heir(mi) of(re) sal(do) va(sol) tion(sol), pur(fa) chase(sol) of(la) God(sol),
    Born(do) of(re) His(mi) Spi(fa) rit(re), washed(do) in(re) His(ti) blood(do).

    Refrain

    This(sol) is(sol) my(sol) story(do), this(sol) is(la) my(la) song(sol),
    Prai(sol) sing(sol) my(sol) Sa(la) vior(do), all(ti) the(ti) day(la) long(ti);
    This(ti) is(do) my(re) sto(do) ry(sol), this(la) is(la) my(la) song(sol),
    Prai(do)sing(re) my(mi) Sa(fa)vior(re), all(do) the(re) day(ti) long(do).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    Ble:

    …ssed:

    a:

    …ssu:

    …rance:

    Je:

    …sus:

    is:

    mine:

    Hymn #9 – What A Friend We Have In Jesus (In The Key Of F)

    In the key of F major:

    F is do

    G is re

    A is mi

    Bb is fa

    C is sol

    D is la

    E is ti

    F is do

    Here you are with the sol-fa notes to the hymn What A Friend We Have In Jesus:

    What(sol) a(sol) friend(la) we(sol) have(mi) in(do) Je(do) sus(la),
    all(sol) our(do) sins(mi) and(do) griefs(sol) to(mi) bear(re)!
    What(sol) a(sol) pri(la) vi(sol) lege(mi) to(do) ca(do) rry(la)
    e(sol) very(do) thing(mi) to(re) God(do) in(ti) prayer(do)!
    O(re) what(de) peace(re) we(mi) of(fa) ten(re) for(mi) feit(sol),
    O(la) what(la) need(sol) less(mi) pain(fa) we(mi) bear(re),
    all(sol) be(sol) cause(la) we(sol) do(mi) not(do) ca(do) rry(do)
    e(sol) very(do) thing(mi) to(re) God(do) in(ti) prayer(do).

    “Check Out The First Line…”

    What:

    a:

    friend:

    we:

    have:

    in:

    Je:

    …sus:

    Final Words

    I’ll see you in another lesson where we’ll be exploring harmonization techniques for these hymns.

    Thanks for your time and see you then.

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Barrie

    Very good for me as a beginner and someone who loves Gospel music

    Reply

    2 EFIOK

    it helps me a lot, but now i need cord combination of both classical music and contemporary music. i will be delighted if these can be sent to me via e-mail. once again thank you for the good work .

    Reply

    3 EFIOK

    it helps me a lot but i still need chord combination both on classical music and contemporary music. thank you for the good work.

    Reply

    4 Olasukanmi

    how can I gey tonic solfa of any song by my self. love this v.good 4 begginers

    Reply

    5 Adeola

    Pls I need the meaning of the following music separators:
    1 :-:
    2 :-
    3 :
    4 .
    5 ,

    Reply

    6 Juliet

    :-: means 2 nd half beat
    :- means 2 beat
    : means 1beat
    . means half beat
    , means quarter beat

    Reply

    7 Emmy

    Thank you, its so helpful

    Reply

    8 Ampurire Talent

    so far so good, i would like to have more sol-fa notations if possible

    Reply

    9 Godgift

    Thank s

    Reply

    10 Nicholas

    Thanks a lot

    Reply

    11 Boreh Isaiah

    Ver big thanks buddy.

    Reply

    12 Mbaski

    it very helpful

    I need all the chord combination of the 12 keys

    god bless you for the good work you are rendering to us

    Reply

    13 Músicas Aqui

    VERY good, amazing the way he teaches I loved the images and their teachings.

    Reply

    14 Geoffrey

    wow!!!..
    am a beginner in keyboards and i luv this…tnkx

    Reply

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