19 July, 2006

Cantate Domino translation

I have noticed that in the site statistics for this blog, there are a fair number of people who come here looking for a translation of "Cantate Domino." So, to assist these readers, I am giving a general translation.

The phrase Cantate Domino basically translates "Sing to the Lord." Its use in church music most often comes from Psalm 96:1-4 (95 in the Latin Vulgate) which was the Introit for the Fourth Sunday after Easter (Easter 5 in other words). In the current lectionaries (Episcopal, Revised Common and Roman), it is the appointed psalmody on Christmas I, Proper 24A, Epiphany 9C, and Proper 4C. The Roman and soon to be former Episcopal Lectionary also include it on Epiphany 2C.

The following translation was constructed from the text Translations and Annotations of Chroal Repertoire, Volume 1: Sacred Latin Texts, and the Psalter in the Book of Common Prayer (1979). To those looking for translations to this text, some motets under the name Cantate Domino actually use multiple different texts such as including Psalm 98, which was part of the original Introit.

Translation
Cantate Domino canticum novum
cantate Domino ominis terra.

Sing to the Lord a new song,
sing to the Lord all the earth.

Cantate Domino, et benedicte nomini ejus.
Annuntiate de die in diem salutare ejus.

Sing to the Lord and bless his name (give praise);
proclaim (announce) his salvation from day to day.

Annuntiate inter gentes gloriam ejus,
in ominbus populis mirabilia ejus.

Declare (announce) his glory among the nations,
his wonders among all people.

Quoniam magnus Dominus et laudabilis nimis;
terribilis est super omnes deos.


For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.

Source
Ron Jeffers, ed., Translations and Annotations of Chroal Repertoire, Volume 1: Sacred Latin Texts (Corvallis, Oregon: Earthsongs, 1988), 108-109.
This is a most useful text for any choral director. It gives both literal "word by word," and "line by line" tranlsations for many Latin texts. Also included is a brief historical context for each text and a selected listing of compositions employing these texts.

9 Comments:

Blogger lostsoul said...

finally, i found the meaning..i had a song book entitled cantate domino and i really liked this song book, i bring it all the time with me. thanks once again

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this isn't the real translation the words aren't even right

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want to teach my HS choir to sing this in Latin but don't know how to prounce it can you help?

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a = ah
e = eh
i = ee
o = oh (no diphthongs in fact no diphthongs ever on a single vowel =P)
u = oo

r: roll the r's

magnus: man-yus

annuntiate = annun(see)ah-te
The t followed by the i, has a slight t sound but more like tse

ejus = eh-yus

2:42 PM  
Blogger Northland Al said...

Anonymous 3, thank you for answering Anonymous 2s question. I have been neglecting this blog for some time.

I would suggest, especially here in the Midwest, to approach them slightly differently, to avoid common errors:

e = eh: The sound should be more of a schwa or it ends up sounding like ay (day-o...). Some choirs have to overdo the vowel, almost to the point of using "uh".

I find "o" more a "aw" as in Honk a good staring point to avoid the "boat" sound (which is the o-u diphthong).

I have found you have to adjust your methods of explanation depending on the choir. Each one tends to react differently and may need adjustment.

Of course, you will find many variations in pronunciation.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Northland Al said...

Anonymous said: this isn't the real translation the words aren't even right

This is not a word for word translations but a general translation. It is the same general translation as you see in the New American Bible (Catholic) which English usage in lieu of the Latin Vulgate.

Psalm 96:1-4
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name; announce his salvation day after day.
3 Tell God's glory among the nations; among all peoples, God's marvelous deeds.
4 For great is the LORD and highly to be praised, to be feared above all gods.

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Kristen said...

thanks so much for the translation! im singing this song in my school choir and always wondered what the words meant. it is a wonderful song and i love the melody.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Ellie said...

this song is amazing,thanx a bunch 4 the translation

4:04 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

In Latin, every letter is pronounced. There are no silent letters. Most "C"s are pronounced like the "C" in cat. "V"s are pronounced as "W"s.
Cantate is pronunced Cun-Ta-Tay. Domino is pronunced normally, Dom-In-Oh.
Canticum is Cun-tick-um.
Benedicte is Ben-eh-dick-tay. Annuntiate is A-Noon-tea-eight.
Die is dee-uh.
Salutare is Saul-You-Tar-Uh.
Gentes is Jen-Tays with a hard "S" on the end.
Ominbus is Oh-Min-Bus.
Populis is Pop-You-Lis.
Mirabilia is Mirror-Ah-Bee-Leah. Quoniam is Quo-Knee-Ahm.
Laudabilis is Loud-ah-bill-is with a hard "S".
Nimis is Nim like in nimrod, and Is with a hard "S".
Terrebilis is Terra-Bill-Is (hard S).
Super is Sue-Pear.
Omnes in Om-Nays (Hard S).
Deos is Day-Os (Hard S).

I hope this helps! :)

10:56 PM  

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