[ sohl-fah, sohl-fah ]

  1. Music. the set of syllables, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti, sung to the respective tones of the scale. All but do and ti are attributed to Guido d'Arezzo.

  2. the system of singing tones to these syllables.

verb (used without object),sol-faed, sol-fa·ing.
  1. to use the sol-fa syllables in singing, or to sing these syllables.

verb (used with object),sol-faed, sol-fa·ing.
  1. to sing to the sol-fa syllables, as a tune.

Origin of sol-fa

1560–70; sol1 + fa; see gamut

Other words from sol-fa

  • sol-faist, noun

Words Nearby sol-fa Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use sol-fa in a sentence

  • Many teachers in the old days composed sol-fa exercises and vocalises for their own use.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • Suffice it to say that only four keys were known, and that each note was called by its full sol-fa name.

    The Psychology of Singing | David C. Taylor
  • Then they all learned songs together from tonic sol-fa, singing in a circle round the fire.

    Sons and Lovers | David Herbert Lawrence
  • "I had learned the Tonic sol-fa notation by heart before I was twenty," he added.

    Mrs. Bindle | Hebert Jenkins
  • Free use is made of the tonic sol-fa as well as the standard notation in many musical examples.

British Dictionary definitions for sol-fa


/ (ˈsɒlˈfɑː) /

  1. short for tonic sol-fa

verb-fas, -faing or -faed
  1. US to use tonic sol-fa syllables in singing (a tune)

Origin of sol-fa

C16: see gamut

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012