Interesting. I wonder who started these systems. In the choirs where I accompany, they use the number system. Sometimes it drives me crazy, and I think, wouldn't it be just as easy to say the names of the notes instead of the solfege or the number systems? I don't know, maybe that's just the pianist in me coming out, and being frustrated that not everybody in the choir knows how to play the piano. I just think it would be to their advantage to learn the piano.
It all started with a Latin chant called Hymn to St. John
(one of very many) with incipt of "Ut queat laxis" in which each phrase in turn begins on the next higher degree of the major scale (C through A). The syllable sung on each of these first notes of the phrases is where we get the solfege syllables (ut, re, mi, fa, sol, la). Except, that ut
, begining with a vowel instead of ending with one, was changed (probably by the Italians) to do
, who I believe also added si
only exists for sight-reading purpose in "movable-do" (a poor system in my mind for actually sight-singing; I was trained on fixed-do) and you will never find a piece titled Sonata/Symphony in Ti menor/minore, but you do find works in Si menor/minore, etc. If you google this stuff you'll probably find a nice article on it. BTW, in the US, the only places that I know of that train in fixed-do is the Curtis Institue and the Juilliard School. Anybody know of any other places? (I got mine with my piano lessons during HS).