Ut queant laxis

The St. John's hymn is a hymn of Paul the Deacon (ca. 720-799 ) to John the Baptist.

The hymn in honor of St. John the Baptist begins with the words Ut queant laxis. The Roman Catholic Breviary the feast of the birth of John the Baptist on June 24, shares this hymn in three parts and assigns the first part, " Ut Queant Laxis ... " Vespers, the second part, " Antra deserti teneris sub annis ", to Matins, the third part, " O felix nimis, Celsi meritique " to Lauds. In general, this hymn is attributed to Paul the Deacon. The anthem is held in Sapphic stanzas. This hymn is a beautiful example of leonine verses dar. with 6 elevations ( hexameter )

With the help of this hymn Guido of Arezzo has his vocal students taught the memorization of sounds. And he has even created a matching melodic version. This song was therefore so appropriate, because the six verses begin consecutively with the six notes of the scale from c to a. The initial letters of the lines, the solfeggio and differ depending Ut, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La were. The seventh note of the scale, Si, exceeding the chosen Guido hexachord and its melody is not present, and later from the initial letters Sancte John ( Saint John ) was formed. In the 17th century Otto Gibelius ut replaced by do, and si ( in Europe since John Curwen often ti) was supplemented for 7th level:

Ut queant laxis resonare Fibris mira gestorum famuli tuorum solve polluti labii reatum Sancte Johannes.

Literally: On that students with loose vocal cords may like into sound the wonder of your deeds, solve the fault of the stained lip, holy John - an allusion to Zechariah, who according to the report of Luke's Gospel ( Lk 1,22 EU) had become mute and at the birth of his son John 's tongue was loosened again. For the same reason John the Baptist was ( before him the hl. Cecilia replaced ) saint of church music.


In an old German translation, the tones of the scale on G are used:

Grant that with loose Sing approach, Lord, what you did, Choirs of your students, That you without blemish Honor our lips, Saint John.