Caeciliam cantate pii (Nicolas Gombert)

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  • (Posted 2020-05-17)  CPDL #58676:       
Editor: John Hetland (submitted 2020-05-17).   Score information: Letter, 15 pages, 1.8 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: Source: Nicoli Gombert: Opera omnia, VIII, ed. Joseph Shmidt-Görg, A.I.M., 1970. Notation here is a tone higher than the original with note values halved. Translation (with major help, including text correction, from Quintus), text underlay, editorial accidentals, alterations and emendations (see last page) by John Hetland and the Renaissance Street Singers. 10 May 2020

General Information

Title: Caeciliam cantate pii
Composer: Nicolas Gombert

Number of voices: 5vv   Voicing: SATBB
Genre: SacredMotet

Language: Latin
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1541 in Motectorum quinque vocum liber secundus, Edition 1, no. 4
    2nd published: 1545 in Cantiones septem, sex et quinque vocum (Sigmund Salminger), no. 12
Description: Praise for St. Cecilia, patron saint of musicians. The text has also been set by Luca Marenzio.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin text

Caecíliam cantáte píi,
 cantáte pudíci.
Cármina cum módulis
 carminibúsque fáveant.
Organa Caeciliam résonent,
 stridulaéque cámenae
Suávia deléctant
 órgana Caeciliam,
Argútaque júvant
 dúlcis modulámina vócis.

Concórdes ígitur
 vóce laéta módos,
Perstrépet hic lítuus
 cítharae, calámus, decachórdum,
Cumque foramínibus,
 tíbia, pléctra, líra,
Týmpana cum córdis,
 óris quóque córnua fléxi,
Cýmbala, testúdo,
 bárbita ráuca mélis,
Ars hóminum quídquid vel réperit,
 ílla sonórum.
Laudáre vólumus,
 plángere Caecíliam.
Música Caecíliam
 sápiens quis néscit amáre,
Cum cécinit spónso
 cármina spónsa súo?

English.png English translation

Sing of Cecilia, devout folk,
 sing, modest folk.
May songs with melodies
 and songs favor her.
Let organs resound to Cecilia,
 and the loud-voiced Muses'
Sweet organs
 delight Cecilia,
And the harmonious melodies
 of their voices please her.

Therefore, with happy
 voice in harmonious notes,
let the trumpet here resound,
 citharas, pipe, harp,
and with its holes,
 the flute, lutes, lyre,
drums accompanied by strings,
 and horns with curved tube,
cymbals, tortoise shell,
 lutes with rasping strains,
whatever mankind's art has found,
 that tuneful thing.
We wish to praise,
 to lament Cecilia.
What wise man knows not how
 to love Cecilia with music,
When she sang to her husband
 hymns she had promised him?