Singing The Scale

Numbers System

By Dr. Richard Gard

Learn to read, hear, and write intervals in notation

The solfege “do” is the tonic of each key, and also the number “1” and so on with the rest of the solfege or numbers. Singing numbers is an additional way to think about solfege. 

Singing the numbers instead of solfege helps musicians transition from number notation system to music notation system. 


Singing the numbers helps musicians begin the study of chords and harmonic progressions. 


Singing the numbers helps musicians learn to transpose and improvise. 


 Sing the songs in order, Interval Song last. 

Memorize the song easily. You can play a song on the piano or play the audio file the first time. Try to memorize as quickly as possible. 


Always sing the name of the key and the numbers. Forte! 


You may sing the songs in any key, but also sing at least three different keys each time you sing the song. 


Repeated singing of the songs, with or without accompaniment, leads to gradual internalization of intervals. 



CONTENTS IN ORDER – music score and audio 

1. Major scale 

2. Minor scale 

3. Stepping fifths 

4. Thirds in Major 

5. Thirds in Minor 

6. Leaps in Major 

7. Leaps in Minor 

8. Interval Song 


 1) Play any two pitches (within an octave) successively. Hear them pitches as part of the Interval Song or one of the other songs. Identify the interval and write as music notation on treble or bass staff. 

2) Play any song from your playlist. Sing a short section of the vocal melody. Identify the intervals and write the vocal melody as music notation on treble or bass staff. 

Dr. Richard Gard’s career spans 40 years of conducting school and church choirs, studio and stage back-up vocals, opera, ballet, musicals, concert bands, orchestras and chamber ensembles. His work takes him to Europe, Australia and throughout the United States where he has performed in some of the country’s largest venues, including Carnegie Hall, the MGM Grand, Hollywood Bowl, and Disneyland.  

Dr. Gard is on faculty at the Yale School of Music since 2003, and he is also the Director of Undergraduate and Graduate Music Lessons for the University.  Richard received his Master and Doctoral degrees from Yale, earning seven scholarly prizes and distinctions during his graduate residency.

Richard is the Director of Music, and the Founding Director of the Center for Music and Liturgy at Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale, where he oversees a diverse music program and publishes the Cloud Hymnal, the largest online hymnal in the world with 40,000 titles.

Dr. Gard is the Chief Academic Officer for the Music Prodigy Corporation, and a co-inventor of patented technology for audio analysis and software interfaces used in interactive music education throughout the United States.

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