solfege  3.22.2
About: Solfege is an ear training program to help you train intervals, chords, scales and rhythms (for GNOME but can also run with only the Gtk+ libs).
  Fossies Dox: solfege-3.22.2.tar.gz  ("unofficial" and yet experimental doxygen-generated source code documentation)  

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solfege Documentation

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Table of Contents

1 GNU Solfege 3.22.2 1.1 Requirements 1.1.1 MS Windows 1.1.2 GNU/Linux and the rest of us Runtime Build dependencies 1.2 Versioning 1.3 Internationalization 1.4 Sound issues 1.4.1 --no-sound' command line option 1.4.2 Missing /dev/music' 1.5 If it just won't work 1.6 History 1.7 Copyright notice

1 GNU Solfege 3.22.2

Solfege is a free ear training program written in python using gtk+ and PyGTK. Solfege is expected to work on any OS where python, gtk+ and pygtk are ported, but some adjustments might be necessary.

Check out the latest news and precompiled binaries at'. Get the source code for the stable releases at' and bleeding edge at `'.

Ear training is a big subject with many connections to music theory and performance of music, so I won't even try to make "a complete computer based ear training course". To use this software, you need some basic knowledge about music theory.

As of 18 June 2000, Solfege is an official part of the GNU project. Visit `' for more info.

1.1 Requirements

Most of this software are usually included with your linux distro. But sometimes you have to use a quite new and uptodate linux distribution because solfege require quite new versions of them. A good alternative can then be to try one of the older stable releases. We try to collect OS specific information on the wiki at `'. But this depends on users contributing their data.

1.1.1 MS Windows

MS Windows users can download the installer program (solfege-win32-3.22.2.exe) that contains everything they need.

1.1.2 GNU/Linux and the rest of us

The rest of us should check that the following is installed: Runtime ...............

  • Python >= 2.5

  • Gtk+ >= 2.12

  • PyGTK >= 2.12 (Debian: python-gtk2)

  • Midi working on /dev/music or /dev/sequencer (for example using OSS or ALSA with OSS emulation). Or at least possible to play midi files on some external program. It seems that your soundcard must support FM-synthesis or wavetable synthesis to use /dev/music or /dev/sequencer. If it does not, you need to do that in software, for example using timidity. Please check . I try to update it more often than this file. And everybody is allowed to edit that page. Build dependencies ..........................

  • GNU Make

  • Gettext

  • Python header files. (The RedHat package is called python-devel.)

  • C compiler (only GCC is tested, nothing else is expected to work.)

  • GNU texinfo (

If you get the program fresh from the bzr repository, then you also need need:

If you edit `', you need GNU Autoconf.

1.2 Versioning

Solfege uses a versioning scheme similar to the Linux kernel. In a version "x.y.z", an even (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) second number 'y' denotes a stable version. So releases called 1.0, 1.2.2, 2.0.0 and similar should work as documented, while a release versioned 1.1.3 or 1.9.2 is a test release that is expected to cause some troubles (that should be reported to

1.3 Internationalization

You get translated messages the same ways as with most GNU programs, by setting environment variables. On a recent linux distribution the correct environment variables are set, and solfege will show messages in your language, if translations exist. Set the LANGAUGE environment variable to change this from the command line:

   export LANGUAGE=sv

Please notice that if you mess with many of the LC_XXX variables, then you might see the following error message on the console:

 Traceback (most recent call last):
   File "./", line 51, in ?
     src.i18n.setup(".", src.cfg.get_string("app/lc_messages"))
   File "./src/", line 63, in setup
     locale.setlocale(locale.LC_ALL, '')
   File "/usr/lib/python2.4/", line 381, in setlocale
     return _setlocale(category, locale)
 locale.Error: unsupported locale setting

Solfege will recover from this error and run without translated messages. It is not a bug in GNU Solfege if you see this message. Your environment variables are wrong or you have forgotten to run some locale related update command like `locale-gen' or similar. If you want to change the language by setting environment variables, you should set LANGUAGE and not LC_ALL.

You can also select the language to use from the preferences window of the program.

Please read `' if you want to help the translation.

1.4 Sound issues

You configure how Solfege should play sounds from the preferences window available from the File menu.

Be aware that it seems like your soundcard must support FM-synthesis or wavetable synthesis to work out of the box. One card I know that does this is SoundBlaster Live. If it does not, you need to emulate this in software, for example by using timidity as an external midiplayer. More info on `'.

1.4.1 `--no-sound' command line option

If you plan to play sounds using an external midiplayer, or if you get other error messages that you think might be caused by your sound setup or Solfeges sound code, then you should start the program with the `--no-sound' command line option the first time you run the program, and then configure sound from the preferences window.

1.4.2 Missing `/dev/music'

If you have a recent linux kernel (at least late 2.2.x and newer, someone please confirm when /dev/music was added...) but /dev/music' is missing, you can probably create the device file yourself with MAKEDEV or mknod /dev/music u 14 8' as root.

1.5 If it just won't work

See the INSTALL file if you have problems building and installing Solfege, and check the man page or run the program with the '--help' command line option for a list of command line options.

You are welcome to ask questions on if this documentation and `' does not give you an answer.

1.6 History

The first versions of Solfege was written in the first quarter of 1999 when I studied my 4th and last year at Malmö Academy of Music. I was writing a "special subject" (what is the english term??) about ear training and used GNU Lilypond and LaTeX to typeset the paper.

I accidentally browsed the "help needed" page at the GNU web site when I saw they needed someone to write an ear training program for music students.

In the beginning I was experimenting with wxWindows, a cross platform C++ GUI toolkit, but luckily, at some point I found the python bindings for gtk+ and have never looked back.

1.7 Copyright notice

Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Tom Cato Amundsen

This if free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2.

This is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License with your Debian GNU/Linux system, in /usr/doc/copyright/GPL, with the solfege source package as the file COPYING and available in the online help system.. If not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin ST, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA

Tom Cato Amundsen