Sight-Singing Waypoints: Tonic, Dominant
All the practical music you will ever deal with uses the same two landmarks: tonic and dominant, a.k.a. “Tony and Dominic”. Once you have the domino-tonic relation clear in the ear and named, you find yourself making better sense in both your improv on breaks, reading, chord recognition in unwritten ensemble work, and composition. You can get Tony and Dominic set firm and working for you. My complete sight-singing self-study course, Noshvil Theory/Hear on Sight is available now, spiral bound.
It’s a matter of gutlevel familiarity, or ken. 1) You abstract them as a pair; 2) you use clear, simple tunes for context in which to recognize when they occur; and 3) you take the D-T Relation as your basic example of practical intervals and name them.
“Tony and Dominic”– the DT Relation– is where to start and devote early earwork to. The frequency intervals between them are 3:2 [7 frets] and 4:3 [5 frets] [higher/lower]. Dom/Tony is among the 3:2 intervals (P5; plain fifth) in a scale. Tony/Dom is a 4:3 interval (P4; plain fourth) in a scale.
The domino-tonic relation gives you two stable waypoint landmarks for navigating all practical music. The major-minor Hub completes a trio of waypoints. The Noshvil Theory course uses the Hub in a key signature augment or stand-in, called the scale ticket.