The development of GNU Solfege has moved to Savannah because (main author) is stepping down as the only maintainer of the program. Please contact if you want to take over the job.


New stable release: 3.22.2


New devel release: 3.23.0


New stable release: 3.22.1


Fixed broken download link for the MS Windows download.

GNU Solfege

GNU Solfege is an ear training program written to help you train intervals, chords, scales and rhythms. It is free software and part of the GNU Project. The program is indented to help music students with their ear training.

The program runs on GNU Linux and similar operating systems that have Python and the Gtk+ toolkit available, and on Windows XP/Vista/7/8. People with some hacker skills can make it run on Mac OS X, but that is not easy. There is no planned port to Android, Symbian or iOS. The reason for this is that Solfege is written in Python and Gtk+, and porting to those operating systems require that I rewrite the program in another programming language.

Some of the existing exercises:

If this is not enough for you, Solfege is written to make it easy to extend or modify the existing exercises, or write completely new ones. Each chord in the chord exercises are defined similar to this:

 question { name=_i("chord|m7") chord("c' es' g' bes'") }

More details are found in the GNU Solfege user manual.

User comments

Posted by Carl Yaffe on June 8, 2011, 5:41 a.m.


Posted by Tom Cato on June 8, 2011, 5:59 p.m.

Yes, there is _one_ exercise, but we need more.

Posted by Andreas on July 12, 2011, 10:52 p.m.

Hey there, first of thanks for this program it is great! For me as a hobby musician it offers absolutely everything I need, thank you!

Hey I got a question, could I help with adding dictation of generated music in some way? I study computational linguistics and have basic programming experience in Python and Java (up to basic knowledge about OOP). If I can help in some way please let me know.

Thanks for your work!

Posted by Tom Cato on July 13, 2011, 3:11 p.m.

Andreas, help writing functions to generate music would be really nice. Let's discuss this on the mailing list,

Posted by littlemathteacher on July 25, 2011, 12:50 p.m.

You/we should establish a database for self-written exercises. There is a lack of more interesting chord progressions. And the examples of cadences are bad. Never ever e. g. does a deceptive cadence sound thus bad and inconvincing. One should take individual real life examples from the harmony textbook. Even better would be a midi->exerciseformat transformer.

Posted by Joe H on July 26, 2011, 3:55 a.m.

I wish the Rhythm exercise could be configured so that instead of it just generating random rhythms using "clicks", it could be configured so that rhythms are played using random pitches (e.g.- from a scale that is selected by the user). Essentially a simple random generated melody is played with the scales and rhythms set by the user. The user then decides what rhythms were played in the melody. Any way that feature could be incorporated into future Solfege releases?

Posted by eyal on Aug. 28, 2011, 12:07 p.m.

what is a mma that requierd in the exercises and how do i get it?

Posted by JAlmer on Aug. 28, 2011, 2:07 p.m.

Great Work and many Thx for this programm.
I used this programme together with on my Android and there evolved 3 items for improvement:

Is it possible to include a listen mode,
e.g. you can listen to the different intervalls by clicking on the buttons?

Is it possible to include first lines of songs for the intervall exercise, like Stars Wars for 5th?

Is it possible to use another sound for the csound intonation-exercises?

Posted by Chris on Sept. 2, 2011, 10:51 p.m.

Is GNU Solfege going to be available as an app for any or all cellular devices?

Posted by Tom Cato on Sept. 2, 2011, 11:44 p.m.

There are no plans for a port to iOS or android at the moment. It is a lot of work, and my time is limited. But others are welcome to port Solfege if they want.

Posted by Natalia on Sept. 11, 2011, 4:27 p.m.

Excelent software!!
I play saxophone, could you include into you instruments, its would be greats?

Posted by Low Fat Meals on Sept. 17, 2011, 5:03 p.m.

Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

Posted by Pally on Sept. 22, 2011, 8:07 a.m.

Is there a way to have selectable keys for the Solfa syllables exercise (or would it be hard to implement)? For example, the basic 7 syllable exercise is in C Major, but I would love to be able to set D Major or G Major, since those are particularly relevant to the Chinese instrument I'm presently studying. The random-key option is interesting, but beyond my level for now.
Thanks for all your hard work. Your software has been a huge help and a joy to use over the years.

Posted by KFritz on Oct. 13, 2011, 7:27 p.m.

Linux newbie here. I installed GNUS fr/ the Ubuntu Software Center. What appears on my screen does not look like what's illustrated in the Manual. It tells me something about a MIDI file. I installed Timidity, which is nearly incomprehensible to a non-geek.

That aside, does GNUS work in a 64 bit computer?

Posted by Tom Cato on Oct. 21, 2011, 9:43 p.m.

KFritz, for support I suggest you email
Attach a screenshot if you can, or a least give us the exact error message.

Timidity can be installed from the software center, and yes, Solfege works on 64 bit systems.

Posted by markfullerdillon on Oct. 26, 2011, 7:23 p.m.

Is there a way to slow down the tempi of the rhythm dictation exercises? As they stand right now, they're much too fast for a beginner like me.

Posted by Graterol Ivor W. on Oct. 28, 2011, 2:37 p.m.

Excelente Software, lo puse en práctica y es genial

Posted by Tom Cato on Oct. 30, 2011, 6:20 p.m.

Mark, there is no way to change the speed of those exercises now. But I see we need it, so it will be added eventually.

Posted by lion on Nov. 13, 2011, 10:35 p.m.


I used my own lessons files (about cadence progressions ) ,unfortunately this kind of scripts don't work now with the last version of gnu solfege (and surly before ) .Is it possible to make a "how to" for people who have like me the same problem , and aren't geeks ? Yes ,I think that people usually ask questions like that ,but I don't find anything for me in the user manual .


Posted by Tom Cato on Nov. 14, 2011, 12:06 a.m.

Lion, can you send me the lesson file that causes you problems, and describe what goes wrong? Email it to If so, I'll update it for the latest version of Solfege, and see what I can do to improve the docs or make Solfege handle the old files.

Posted by Trainer on Nov. 23, 2011, 4:45 a.m.

Great! thanks for the share!

Posted by best elliptical machine on Nov. 28, 2011, 1:19 p.m.

I suggest adding a facebook like button for the blog!

Posted by Tim on Nov. 29, 2011, 12:15 a.m.

I have a lesson program that I have created in an open office (calc) spreadsheet. I am trying to hyperlink to the solfege program from within the spreadsheet.

Currently the hyperlink does nothing. The link is pointed to the desktop icon. Is there a way to make it work? Or, another file that I should point to?

Posted by Pedro J. Ponce de León on Dec. 2, 2011, 2:08 a.m.

Great piece of music software! Hours of fun!

What about a 'blind' mode? Like that you could select an exercise, then close your eyes, and run thru the new-repeat-guess cycle by using some 'fixed' keyboard key bindings. Some keys grouped together so they fit under your hand (like the cursor keys or the keypad). I found I concentrate much more on the music with closed eyes, when I don't need to look for the right button on the screen.

Thanks a lot for the good job!

Posted by radam on Dec. 10, 2011, 8:37 p.m.

Finding such a program was hard. But here it is.
And it's PERFECT. I was looking for something like this for ages.
The internet is filled with lies and bullshit, nowadays.
But it does what I want and even more. Thanks.

Posted by Mark on Dec. 19, 2011, 1:17 a.m.

Unless my ears are fooling me (not impossible), there seems to be a bug in the 3.20.4 "Practise" section devoted to fourths and fifths: fifths are misidentified as fourths, and vice versa.

Posted by Tom Cato on Dec. 19, 2011, 8:29 a.m.

Mark, I checked the harmonic and melodic interval exercises of Solfege 3.20.4, and they are all correct. Are you running the program in English or translated to another language? Which? It could be a translator bug.

Posted by Mark on Dec. 20, 2011, 11:34 a.m.

Hello, Tom! I'm running the program in English, on Windows XP... and the P4s are definitely being labelled as P5s... not consistenly, but frequently enough to suggest that something's wrong. It's not my ears: I've also tried other software (and a good old-fashioned piano), and I've had no similar problem there. Any advice?

Posted by Nick on Jan. 1, 2012, 4:21 p.m.

This is really awesome! :D

Posted by whatever on Jan. 20, 2012, 10:58 p.m.

I've made a wikipedia article for the software, feel free to improve it and translate it.

Posted by roopzelebluby on Jan. 25, 2012, 4:52 a.m.

Hurrah! In the end I got a website from where I can genuinely take valuable information regarding my study and knowledge.

Posted by Sylvain on Jan. 25, 2012, 1:16 p.m.

Hello Tom,

I've made a french draft wikipedia article for the software, from the english page (thanks to "whatever").
Feel free to improve it and translate it.

Great Work and many Thx for this program.

Posted by Umut on Feb. 17, 2012, 8:28 a.m.

Please please please make an Ipad version!

Posted by Tom Cato on March 1, 2012, 5:53 p.m.

Sponsor med (tca) with a mac and an ipad, and I'll explore the possibilities.

Posted by Gerard on March 2, 2012, 12:33 p.m.

Is it possible to make in GNU-solfege a series of atonal chords or pitch class sets for training the recognition and identification of those chords ?

Posted by Tom Cato on March 2, 2012, 5:21 p.m.

Yes, Gerard. This can probably be done just by creating lesson files. This is some quite easy to understand text files.

I can write some exercises if you email a little more details to the mailing list,

* Describe how the chords chould be created. Can we find some rules a computer program can use to generate the chords, or should the chords be selected by the one writing the exercise.

* How should the user answer? Clicking a button with a name or description? Clicking on the correct chord on a staff line with multiple chords to select from? Enter the chord, tone by tone on a staff?

Posted by John on March 2, 2012, 6:10 p.m.

This looks to be a great thing.
Would it possible for users to share the lessons they develop on this site?

Posted by bharat on March 12, 2012, 7:58 a.m.

this is the best software , my piano grade exam is coming and i was very worried for aural test no i m very happy
i not need help of any other person for ear training, thanks very much.
is this software also availalble for nokia phones (symbian)?

Posted by Tom Cato on March 12, 2012, 9:30 a.m.

No, the program is only available for Linux and Windows, and with some hacker skills for Mac OSX.

Posted by estefania cerna alfaro on April 21, 2012, 12:17 a.m.

quisiera tener este programa para poder ayudarme en mis clases de musica

Posted by JC on Aug. 1, 2012, 2:36 p.m.

Ça serait bien que l'exercice "Identifier la note" puisse se faire avec d'autres timbres d'instruments.

Posted by alevi dcosta on Aug. 22, 2012, 10:35 p.m.

Even while my download is still on, i would firstly like to thank you and being a programmer myself, i know the hard work you must have put in to do this and deeply appreciate your work. Do let me know if there is any way i could contribute to your work.

Posted by mauke15 on Sept. 19, 2012, 6:35 p.m.

create vladimir cosma to championship but got no output in time

Posted by James on Nov. 5, 2012, 5:52 p.m.

Sweet program, thanks.
À propos the interval intonation exercises: A nice function would be for each button (flat, in tune, sharp) to play its tuning of the interval when clicked on. Maybe only after the question is answered correctly. This would allow the user to compare the tunings back to back and study their relationship more effectively. Thanks again.

Posted by Cogito on Nov. 7, 2012, 11:55 a.m.

I thank you for this program. It is helping me a lot in refining my ear training. I have one question though: The program allows me to change the keybord shortcuts for the intervals but does not apply it to the exercises nor does it allow me to save the new shortcuts. Could this be corrected? Note: I'm using the version
Thank you.

Posted by Ear Trainer on Feb. 5, 2013, 10:19 a.m.

Hi, same issue as previous poster.
Keyboard shortcuts for interval exercises don't work correctly.
I am using latest version and checked beta/dev. version just to be sure.

Posted by James Kendrick on March 26, 2013, 3:31 a.m.

Installed Solfege on Mac OS X 10.7.5 using instructions as described for MacPorts with success. Thanks for providing a way to use this excellent resource on the MacBook Pro!

Posted by Troy on April 25, 2013, 11:35 p.m.

Great software.

I have looked for science on how best to progress in arual training, but it seems there is very little to go on. It would be nice if there was some guidelines. For example, I tend to rate at or near 100% on 50 trials with major and minor chords, but when I do ascending thirds, its like I can't get it, although seconds, sixths, fourths and fifths seem are ok and improving. It makes me wish I had some sort of instruction on how best to approach ones training and how to solve or improve problem areas when you hit them. Its not that I'm scared of elbow work and looks of it – I simply value inroads people have discovered too. If people out there no great teaching methods of it, or great science documentation on aural training, it would be great to combine it into an easy guide as a text file attachment.

Posted by troyatlarge on April 26, 2013, 8:11 p.m.

OK, upon thinking more on it I had a look at the overtone series. There I noticed that it follows an order, octave, 5th, 4th, M3rd, etc. If I take this as the the octave being easiest to lean and getting progressively more difficult, and include inversions m(M3rd inverted is m6th, etc), then I come up with the following order to learn in (including repeating what ground you have covered)

1) hear difference between octaves and 5ths
2) hear 5ths and 4ths
3) hear octaves, 4ths, 5ths
3) hear 4ths and major 3rds
4) hear octives 4ths, 5ths, M3rds
5) hear major 3rds and minor 6ths
6) hear oct, 4, 5, M3, m6
7) hear major 3rds and minor 3rds
8) hear oct, 4, 5, M3, m6, m3
etc., etc.

The odd exercises could be placed in a package like Anki which takes advantage of memory (hoping that helps too) - when you miss tones they are repeated more often, when you get them correct, their repeated less often.

I don't know if this is a reasonable working approach or not, I can only say I learned, for sure, octaves easiest, followed by 5ths and 4ths. However, I would like to set up my study sessions accordingly just because - do I gather correctly there is a way for me to do that using this program?

Posted by Troy on April 29, 2013, 1:36 a.m.

Under “Extending GNU Solfege”, in the introduction, it states

“Create a lesson file and save it it in the first directory listed when you select User Exercises from the File menu. Create the directory if it does not exist.”

I run a Linux system

I open GNU Solfege, click on file and see “User Exercises” with no directory. I'm suppose to create one at this point yet I have no idea how to do so as I have no idea even where “User Exercises” directory is or where to find it with respect to the back end (and I have no direct option to do so that I see). I don't see “User Exercises” anywhere under home/me/.solfege/, nor under the usr/share/solfege/

I did build up a bunch of lesson files and placed them in /Home/.solfege/exercises/standard/lesson-files/
and then I put a frontpage in usr/share/solfege/exercises/Overtone Method/ that is like your learningtree.txt only re-wrote so it points back to my own lesson files. This works, but I've been unable to figure it out with the above direction – not sure what I'm not getting, but something.

Posted by Troy on April 29, 2013, 4:03 p.m.

OK, I got it figured out (Intel inside, idiot outside)

I placed all my user files in a directory called “lesson-files” and I made a “overtone.txt” file for the front page. Both of these I placed side by side in Home/.solfege/exercises/user/ (after creating the exercises and user directories). Now it all works great including switching from the normal set-up to the Overtone Method via File>select front page> Overtone Method (of Default front page if you want that).

What a great piece of software you made - I like it.

Posted by Dennis McDonald on July 19, 2013, 8:39 p.m.

I think with the mobile os culture in technology that you will have many more users benefit. Exponentially maybe. I neverfire up the computer anymore since smart phones have gotten larger displays and great processing.

Posted by Russell on Aug. 31, 2013, 2:34 p.m.

Will there be more logic built into how the questions are asked? It seams like they are asked randomly.

The program already keep track of errors, so why not use that to select questions ie. ask the questions with more errors more often than those with fewer errors.

There are other ways to select what questions to ask to make the time one spends with the program more efficient. This is just one way.

Other than that, I love the program.

Posted by ilias on Sept. 28, 2013, 2:35 a.m.

i just want to seriously thank you for this software and all the work you've put into it. be well :)

Posted by ttuyy on Oct. 9, 2013, 8:59 p.m.


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