First of all, I am an absolute noob regarding music, so please bear with me.

I am trying to understand an exercise (from my son's school lesson, where teacher seems to be reluctant to explain this in detail ...) about solmization with syllables "du da di". I am giving the solution to the exercise question as an image here: enter image description here

The question reads in english like: Write down the corresponding solmization syllables below the notes.

The question is provided just with the notes, but without the syllables, of course.

I do not understand the rules for when to put what syllable below the notes.

I already did some gooling and searching in here, but could not find a hint about this. Regarding solmization I only find explanation about "do re mi fa so", so it seems to me this "du da di" syllable are some custom stuff.

So my questions are: What kind of rule is behind this solmization? When do I put which syllable in? Is there any general convention about what syllables will be used (du da di) or is this just a convention that each teacher can agree with their students?

  • 2
    Kodaly and later, Gordon, came up with rhythmic names for various rhythms (!). It seems very complex and really not that enlightening. Personally, I find it fairly pointless. – Tim May 27 '19 at 18:28
  • Interesting, I didn't know this was done in German-speaking countries. Is this common over there? – Richard May 27 '19 at 19:03

The names of the notes depend not on their length, but on their position in the measure. The six eighth notes per measure are named:

du  da  di  du  da  di
♪   ♪   ♪   ♪   ♪   ♪

No matter how long a note is, it gets the name of the position where it starts; e.g. a note which starts on the third eighth note would be a "di":

du  da  di  du  da  di

So the example in the question would become:

du  da  di  du  da  di    du  da  di  du  da  di    du  da  di  du  da  di 
♪   ♪   ♪   ♪   ♪   ♪     ♩       ♪   ♩        ♪     ♪   ♩       ♩       ♪
du  da  di  du  da  di    du      di  du      di    du  da      du      di 

I guess it's an exercise in keeping track of where you are in the rhythm, though it would probably be clearer if you sang "o-one three fou-our six" instead of "duuu di duuu di".

  • 1
    Counting numbers has worked for me for 60 yrs... – Tim May 27 '19 at 19:42
  • 1
    @Tim The problem in German is of course that "eins", "zwei" and "drei" all have the same vowel. If a whole class is singing "doo dah dee" you can easily hear (and see) when someone makes a mistake. – Your Uncle Bob May 27 '19 at 21:06
  • I'm guessing it's only a problem counting in German. French, Spanish, English and most other languages don't have numbers that sound similar. – Tim May 28 '19 at 6:24
  • 1
    More the position in the beat rather than which beat in the measure, I think. – Carl Witthoft May 28 '19 at 13:39
  • FWIW in the USandA a common method is "One-eee-and-aa; Two-eee-and-aa" for 16th-notes; "One-and-aa,..." for triplets, "One-and" for duplets. – Carl Witthoft May 28 '19 at 13:40

Maybe this helps you to understand it more clearly:

enter image description here

  • Thanks, this was very helpful. Since only one answer can be marked as solution, I gave it to Uncle Bobs answer, but surely upvoted yours. – Stefan Korn May 28 '19 at 4:34

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