Solfeggio Scale – The Ultimate Guide
The ancient solfeggio scale is a series of six ascending notes that were sung by Gregorian monks to bring spiritual blessings and harmony. Dr. Joseph Puleo rediscovered the scale in 1974 using the Pythagorean method of number reduction. Since then, the Solfeggio scale has been the subject of scientific study and a tool for improving mental, emotional and physical health.
The original solfeggio scale was developed by Guido d’Arezzo, a Benedictine monk and music theorist. Solfa syllables or the solfeggio scale is a tool that singers use to learn chants and songs more easily. Today, we know the solfeggio scale as seven ascending notes assigned to the syllables Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti. The original scale consisted of six ascending notes assigned to the syllables Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La. The syllables for the scale were taken from a hymn to John the Baptist, Ut Queant Laxis.
Some believe that the syllables were derived from an older Arabic solmization system or from Indian texts such as the Upanishads. We also find forms of solfeggio in China, Japan and elsewhere. As for opinions, the fact is that the term solfeggio has been used since ancient times.
The exact frequencies of the original solfeggio scale weren’t known, as different tunings were used throughout history. The standard for tuning in the last 200 years is quite different from the tuning practices that were used from antiquity until about the 16th century. These ancient tuning practices used a system of tuning known as just intonation.
Solfeggio scale and just intonation
Solfeggio scale was based on just intonation, a tuning system that adjusts the frequency of pitches so that they best fit with each other harmonically. The Pythagorean scale is the basis of just intonation, which is now considered a more “natural” sounding tuning than tempered tuning because it is closer to how we hear music. The ratio between two notes in a harmonic series is always two-to-one; an octave above another note has twice its frequency.
Just intonation has been used since at least the Middle Ages, and remains in use today in some folk traditions such as Turkish folk music and Eastern European Jewish music. However, equal temperament dominates modern Western culture. It offers greater harmonic flexibility than just intonation, altough it sounds rough, restless and more shallow.
Today, it is possible to build instruments with just intonation, like the modern day electric guitar or even Indian sitars. The reason why we don’t hear it all that much anymore has more to do with how easily we can move around on our instruments and play in all keys without retuning the instrument every time. It’s unfortunate because just intonation has depth and stability.
That’s why the ancient solfeggio scale was so unique. It had all the special qualities of just intervals, like clarity, purity, and smoothness.
Solfeggio scale notes
The Solfeggio scale comprises of six syllables (Ut-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La) that correspond to the notes of G, G#, C, D#/E, F#, and G#/A. Dr Joseph Puleo deciphered the frequencies behind the notes and called them solfeggio frequencies. The frequencies are: 396 Hz, 417 Hz, 528 Hz, 639 Hz, 741 Hz, and 852 Hz. Later, three additional frequencies have been added to the solfeggio scale: 174 Hz, 258 Hz, and 963 Hz.
The chart below shows the complete scale with syllables, notes, and corresponding frequencies.
It would take a specially designed instrument to play all these frequencies simultaneously. The closest you can get to the full scale is to use an electronic keyboard or synthesizer. You won’t get all the frequencies exactly, but you’ll at least get the C5 note at 528 Hz.
Since modern instruments aren’t tuned to these frequencies, the question arises, “How do you play the solfeggio scale?” Let’s take a closer look.
How to play solfeggio scale
In order to play the full scale you need to tune each note separately. This is a time-consuming process that requires a high degree of accuracy and tuning the sounds with a precision level of 1 cent. This isn’t possible in a live performance, but requires precise work with individual sound sources and their processing with special tools.
For this reason, 99.95% of the so-called “solfeggio videos” available on YouTube and other sites aren’t tuned to the solfeggio scale. It’s unfortunate that even the most popular videos with millions of views are not tuned to the solfeggio scale or contain solfeggio frequencies. The same is true for popular meditation apps.
Another way to play the solfeggio scale is to use instruments that produce individual frequencies. The most popular musical instruments are solfeggio tuning forks. When choosing tuning forks, you should pay attention to the quality and purity of the sound produced. In our store you can find high quality tuning fork sets.
The intent behind the syllables
It is important to understand that sound frequencies are very powerful, and intent is very powerful. When there is a unity between certain frequencies and certain intents, they create a living attunement with the higher mind that brings the body, mind, and spirit into a balanced resonance. Balance is the key to well-being.
The chart below shows the intent behind the solfeggio syllables according to their Latin definitions.
|Ut||preparatory tone to prepare the body, soul, and spirit to receive the intent of the next five tones (in order to receive)|
|Re||tone to begin resonance with the Divine (resounds or balance frequencies)|
|Mi||tone to begin remarkable and extraordinary changes (miracles)|
|Fa||tone to seek limitation imposed upon us (slaves to mindsets)|
|Sol||tone to loosen, release, unbind, open (solve, resolve)|
|La||tone to open the vocal chords (release the lips)|
If you focus on the intention of the tones, you can work more effectively with the frequencies. For example, you can use tuning forks created for just those frequencies to balance your body and mind. You can also combine the tuning forks with other balancing therapies such as Reiki, acupressure, massage and others.
Finally, you can listen to Solfeggio music and individual frequencies to create a powerful resonance within you, deeply relax your mind and body, and transform your life.
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