hand signs

Solfege Hand Signs

I've noticed a lot of hits on my blog coming from people searching the term "Solfege Hand Signs" or "Kodaly Hand Signs" so I thought 'why not make a post specifically about it?' Before I spent the last two summers in Kodaly training at the New England Conservatory I spent 2 years teaching myself movable solfege.  There were not any teachers at my school who specialized in this method and certainly none that advocated handsigns, so I was on my own.  I got every book I could and watched youtube videos and scoured the internet to find all the help I could get, and after two years of hard work, became rather proficient in both movable do solfege and handsigns.

Movable do solfege focuses on the tonal relationships between pitches, assigning a syllable (do re mi fa so la ti do) to each pitch based on its location within a particular key and relation to the tonal center.

In a similar fashion, the handsigns give a physical and spacial representation to the pitch based on its location and relation to the tonal center.  The syllables and handsigns do not correspond to absolute pitch names (C D E F G etc) but rather to scale degrees (the 1 2 3 etc of a key).  Each syllable has a specific handsign that relates to it and the height of each handsign helps to show the direction of movement.  Do is located at the belt-buckle, so is located around the chin/mouth, and high do is located around the forehead.  Below is a wonderful site where you can find a chart showing all of the handsigns


I hope this has been of some help to those of you who show up here, thanks for visiting!