From what I understand, for example, if I perceive the Tonic note as "C" instead of "G" in a G major song such that I would sing "Do" on the note "C" instead of the note "G", without transposing the song itself, then I would be using Fixed Do Solfege. So the only difference I can tell between the 2 Solfege systems is if I decide to shift the Tonic in accordance with the key of the song or not.

So in other words, learning Movable Do automatically teaches you to also sing in Fixed Do since it's just Fixed Do with the extra step of perceiving Tonal centers, but learning Fixed Do doesn't automatically teach you to use Movable Do. Is this statement correct?

3 Answers 3


These two ways of thinking of notes are complementary.

With movable Do you naturally get information of what scale degree you're singing or which notes are non diatonic. It is also easier to find harmony – all this for as long as there is not too much modulation.

With fixed Do you know exactly what notes you're sing, which helps to translate sung music to instruments, or to know how the notes fit in the vocal range. Fixed Do is much more practical when there are many key changes.

For good understanding of music you need to know both what the absolute notes are, and how they relate to the key. You don't really learn one method automatically by learning the other, though knowing one certainly helps to learn the other one.


Your question is confusing. I'm not sure how to answer it as asked. What I can do is show you the difference between the 2 systems with a simple example.

To sing a melody in G major using moveable Do, you'd use the syllables do re me fa so la ti where G is do.

To sing a melody in G major using fixed Do, you'd use the syllables so la ti do re mi fi where G is so. (Because it could easily be missed, note that I've used fi, not fa. fi is the raised form of fa, which in fixed do is F#, the leading tone in G major.)

In other words, fixed do simply maps do re me fa so la ti do to the note names C D E F G A B, whereas moveable do doesn't care what the actual note names are. One is 'absolute' and one is 'relative'.

I guess to answer your question more directly, no. In fact, I think the exact opposite is true. Fixed do is not learned automatically by learning moveable do, but moveable do is learned when learning fixed do because everything in C major or A minor will be the same.

  • can you elaborate on the last part? I am not quite clear what you mean by "everything in C major or A minor will be the same". I'm assuming you are saying that they share the same syllables and pitches because A minor is a relative minor of C major? Why would this be a reason why Moveable Do is learned when learning Fixed Do and not the other way around?
    – John Lok
    May 21, 2022 at 0:18
  • Because in Moveable Do you only need to think in C major or A minor, a tiny subset of the keys you'd need to be able to think in with Fixed Do. However, the more I think about it, the more I think the 2 systems actually leverage slightly different skills, so I'm not sure there is a 2-for-1 effect in either direction.
    – ibonyun
    May 21, 2022 at 6:59
  • "since [Moveable Do] is just Fixed Do with the extra step of perceiving Tonal centers," It's not an additional step. Don't you need to perceive the tonic in regardless of the sysem you're using? What Moveable Do offers is the convenience of only ever needing to perceive 2 notes as tonic, do for major and la for minor.
    – ibonyun
    May 21, 2022 at 7:03

You are correct. If one can sing in Moveable Do, then one can sing in Fixed Do; whereas the reverse is not the case.

  • 1
    I disagree. I was only ever trained to sing in moveable do and cannot effectively sing in fixed do.
    – ibonyun
    May 21, 2022 at 5:32

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