Miraris mundum (Anonymous)

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  • (Posted 2020-11-20)  CPDL #61560:     
Editor: Adrian Wall (submitted 2020-11-20).   Score information: A4, 4 pages, 1.07 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: Transposed up a minor 3rd. Note values halved.

General Information

Title: Miraris mundum / Cancer cancrisat
Composer: Anonymous

Number of voices: 6vv   Voicing: SSAATB
Genre: SecularCanon

Languages: Latin, Czech
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1589 in Krákovská kanonie premonstrátu na Stravhove, Prague, DR I 21
Description: This piece appears on a broadsheet printed in Prague in 1589 by Jirí Nigrin. The outer four parts are printed in table book format. In the centre of the page, one alto part is written anticlockwise around a roundel, with its text (a mixture of Czech and Latin) in mirror-writing. Within the circle appears, written on an image of a crab carrying the world on its back, the other alto part, a five-note ostinato with the text, also mirrored, Cancer cancrisat.

External websites:

Original text and translations

Latin.png Latin and Czech.png Czech text

Miraris mundum dorso consistere cancri?
Desine: sic hodie vertitur orbis iter.

Cancer cancrisat.

Svĕt se toči jako kolo,
Protož přítele hled’ mít’ dobrého.
Multa vadunt cum feria sexta,
Neb mnohé vĕci jdou v svĕtĕ zpátkem;
Retro cedunt in deteriora et non meliora.

English.png English translation

Are you surprised at the world on a crab's back?
Desist: this is the way the globe is turned nowadays.

The crab goes backwards.

The world revolves like a wheel,
therefore look to have a good friend.
Many things go from Friday,
for many things in the world go backwards;
they go backwards for the worse and not for the better.