Caeciliam cantate pii (Nicolas Gombert)

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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:

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?