Tonic Solfa Notation

Subject : 


Term :

First Term / 1st Term


Week 1

Class :

JSS 2 / Basic 8

Previous lesson: 

The pupils have previous knowledge of


in their previous classes

Topic :

Tonic Solfa Notation

Behavioural objectives:

At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to

  • say the meaning of music tonic solfa natation
  • explain meaning of accidentals in solfa notation
  • describe the modular with accidental


Instructional Materials:

  • Wall charts
  • Pictures of different types of houses
  • Related Online Video
  • Flash Cards

Methods of Teaching:

  • Class Discussion
  • Group Discussion
  • Asking Questions
  • Explanation
  • Role Modelling
  • Role Delegation


Reference Materials:

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum
  • Workbooks



Meaning of Tonic Solfa Notation in Music 

The tonic solfa notation is a great way to learn about music and to teach it to others. It is a very simple system that is easy to understand and use. The tonic solfa notation system of writing down music is used by many people. This system uses the letters of the alphabet to represent the pitches of the musical notes

Tonic Solfa Notation is a system which involves the use of syllabic names for music reading. These syllabic names are called solfa notes. In a nutshell tonic solfa notation is a method of reading music. The method was established in the Nineteenth Century in Britain. It was made popular by John Curwen. It is based on the use of seven consonant small letters of the alphabets, namely, d, r, m, f, s, l, t. To complete the note of the scale, the first letter, ‘d’ (doh) is usually repeated.


Accidentals in Solfa Notification

Music is a very important part of our lives. It can be a source of enjoyment, relaxation, and even inspiration. Music can also be a great tool for learning and teaching. The tonic solfa notation is a system of musical notation that uses the solfa names to represent the pitches of notes. This system is very popular in Europe and America.

One of the most important aspects of music is pitch. Pitch is the highness or lowness of a note. We use accidentals to change the pitch of a note. An accidental is a symbol that is placed before a note to indicate that the note should be raised or lowered in pitch. The most common accidents are the sharp, flat, and natural symbols.

The sharp symbol, , raises the pitch of a note by one half step. The flat symbol, , lowers the pitch of a note by one half step. The natural symbol, , cancels any previous accident that has been applied to a note.

The accidental signs used in solfa notation are sharps and flats. The sharp (#) sign is used to raise the sound of the note by a semitone. As a result, ‘doh’ becomes ‘de’, ‘ray’ becomes ‘re’, ‘fah’ is ‘fe’ ‘soh’ is ‘se’ and ‘lah’ becomes ‘le’. For Example:

Similarly, the flat sign is used to lower the sound of the note by a semitone. In this case the letter ‘a’ (aw) is attached to the solfa note, then ‘ray’ becomes ‘raw ‘ ‘m’ becomes ‘maw’, ‘l’ is ‘law’ and ‘t’ is ‘taw’. For Example:


The Modulator

The modulator is the arrangement of the notes of the major scale placed vertically in ascending order.

Punctuation Marks in Solfa Notation

Punctuation marks in solfa notation perform various functions. There are

Indicates a full beat.

Indicates a half beat.

,  Indicates a quarter beat.

:    :  Indicates a rest or rests.

| d: – |  indicates two beats.

| d : –. |  indicates one and half beats.

| d : — : — |  indicates three beats.

| d : — : –: — |  indicates four beats .

|| double bar lines  indicate the end of a piece of music.

Adagio slow, leisurely
Allegro fast
Piano (p) soft
Forte (f) loud








The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The class teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The class teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the needs arise




The class teacher wraps up or concludes the lesson by giving out a short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The class teacher also goes round to make sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she does the necessary corrections when and where the needs arise.





  1. What is tonic solfa notation?
  2. What letters are used in solfa notation?
  3. Write some examples of accidentals in solfa notation.
  4. What is a modulator?
  5. Write the meaning of the following punctuation marks.

(a) : (b) d:–   (c) .   (d) ,   (e) d:–:–