Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ut queant laxis

Why do we call the notes as "ut-re-mi-fa-sol"? The story goes back to a fellow Italian who lived in the 10th century.

The plainsong of the Latin Church is called as Cantus Planus but widely known as Gregorian Chant in honor of the pope who fixed its eight component modes and collected nearly 3,000 melodies. Most of these songs have been derived from Greek and especially from Jewish traditional chants. Cantus Planus had four main dialects:

Ambrosian; Roman;Gallician;Mozarabic.

In the eleventh century the musicologist Guido d'Arezzo (995-1050) invented a notation system which the names of the notes are originated.

He took the initial syllables of the chant of "Ut queant laxis". This chant is dedicated to John The Baptist. It goes like this:

Ut queant laxis ,
Resonare fibris,
Mira gestorum,
Famuli tuorum.

Solye polluti,
Labii reatum,
Sancte Joannes.

[Let Thine example Holy John, remind us; Ere we can meetly sing thy deeds of wonder; Hearts must be chastened, and the bonds that binds us; Broken asunder.]

The first letters of Sancte Joannes formed the note "si" afterwards.

Then from the 12th century onwards, the Gregorian Chants had been enriched by polyphony. The art of Canon began in the 13th century and from that date on, we can talk about a standard vocabulary of musical phrase.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Very Long Weekend [2]: Bemmel, Groesbeek and the Rainbow Road

Well, let me tell you before I start: This post consists of more photos than text. Actually I should have written this post two weeks ago.

First, I was really busy.

Then, I was too lazy as the spring sun called me away from the PC.

And now, I barely remember what I was going to write! (Baaad Diadra...)

As I promised to Ibn-i Batuta, I'll tell you a little about Bemmel and Groesbeek, and add a couple of photos.

We have been to Bemmel, a beautiful and tiny town in the Netherlands, twice.

The first time, we fell in love with the town and its people.

The second time, we went there to take some photos. But as we were admiring the place so much, we forgot to take photos except our meals.

We also went to Groesbeek. Another beautiful town in the Netherlands reminding of paradise.

Yet, unfortunately, I cannot say the same things for their people. They were just the opposite kind of people I have met in other places of the Netherlands. Just extremely rude, weird people.

The fun part was to go back home as the weather spared some very nice surprises that caused us to smile a whole week afterwards.

We went through a forest like giant park on the way back home.

We cycled under a rain shower but it was so pleasant...
(In order to see the rain drops, click on the picture to enlarge.)

We were so tired that we had a little rest in a large park. We were cold but that was OK, as we couldn't stop ourselves from smiling.

A path between Nijmegen and Groesbeek. Apparently -as we have guessed from the road signs-, this path was ideal for horse riding.
You can see the award the weather has given us for appreciating its showers, as well. (:
Ah, it was a day in heaven...
P.S. If you are really careful, you can notice the second rainbow in the picture. (;

(You can click on the pictures to enlarge.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Very Long Weekend [1]: Kleve Tiergarten - A Tribute to Madagascar

Hey there! After a short break, here I am.

I was planning to write about some scientific stuff such as the relation between volcanic eruptions and global temperature. I also had some other things in mind, but as we are having a beautiful holiday, I'll try to share some stuff with you.

30th April was the "Koninginnedag" in the Netherlands, that is the Queen's Day (Queen Beatrix's Birthday). Previously, we had planned to attend the traditional party, but instead we went to Kleve, a German city near the Netherlands - Germany border.

I'd like to tell you more about this city but there is nothing much except a small zoo. Oops, and a building still keeping its Swastikas. Obviously, someone forgot to remove that demonic signs as this sign is forbidden in Germany. That was a surprise for us... (Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Let me tell you about the zoo. One of the zookeepers told us that there were 600 animals in the Kleve Tiergarten. As we wandered around in the zoo, we observed that probably 80% of the animals consisted of sheep, goats, sheep, and well...goats... Other than these sheep and goats -and boars- there were some wild birds, foxes, seals, porcupines etc...

I think you have noticed the title: "A Tribute to Madagascar." Here's the story: When we were looking at some cute baby goats, we noticed some sheep eating grass just next to us. Then, we noticed that the sheep, one by one, were leaving their "area" and running freely within the zoo. You can see their escaping point in the picture (left) circled with red.

After their funny escape, they kept running and pasturing for a while.

Here are some other photos from the Kleve Tiergarten:

Article of the Day