Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Charles Kamm

Reader 2

YouYoung Kang

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


Movable-do solfege is a system of labeling notes in a scale based upon their relative position within the scale. This system highlights the functionality of each scale degree, and these functions and relationships are maintained across key signatures. In music classrooms, the use of solfege is typically limited to teaching sight singing and basic concepts of melody, and it is often viewed as a tool for beginning musicians. However, the usefulness of solfege can extend far beyond this. Because it so strongly highlights functionality, solfege can be an effective way to teach young students the basics of music theory. This project presents a guide to teaching four specific theoretical concepts – key signatures, triads and qualities, chord progressions, and Roman numeral analysis – through the lens of movable-do solfege. These guides contain recommendations for lessons, discussions, and activities that encourage students to continue using the sight-singing and solfege skills that they developed early in their music education as they advance into the foundations of music theory. This program is intended to introduce students to the basic principles of music theory, providing a transition between beginning music skills and advanced composition and analysis.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.