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Thread: Is this a riddle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Question Is this a riddle?

    I was working on Vide Domine, ZWV179, and our group was musing on the "code" on the sheet music--does anyone know what it signifies? It's mostly Latin, but with mixed upper and lower case letters (Roman numerals?) We were discussing the palindromic aspect of the song, and wondered about this text: Le C-or MI
    VIDere LIbet qVae seqVVntVr
    VIrtVosI PossessorIs honorI apponere ILLa VoLVIt
    Ionannes DIsMas ZeLenka
    FIDVs In prInCIpIo In fIne aMICVs
    et serVVs
    DabantVr Vero ILLa In DresDa noVa
    tertIa aprILIs In abItV SoLIs

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Default The answer appears to be 1728

    This is a chronogram (see my as yet unanswered post on Zelenka's name in this forum) with the year 1728 as the answer. Extracting the Roman numerals from

    "VIrtVosI possessorIs honorI apponere ILLa VoLVIt
    Ionannes DIsMas zeLenka" = 1728

    "fIDVs In prInCIpIo In fIne aMICVs
    et serVVs" = 1728

    and finally

    "DabantVr Vero ILLa In DresDa noVa
    tertIa aprILIs In abItV soLIs" = 1728

    Cordially,

    Alex

  3. #3
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    Default

    I should have added that

    "Le C-or MI VIDere LIbet qVae seqVVntVr" also adds up to 1728.

    My theory is that Zelenka may have changed his name from Lukas to his adopted name DIsMas partly in order to supply himself with an M (1000), a D (500) and an I (1) for help in encoding compositional dates.

  4. #4
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    Default ... and a translation

    Reading 'LeC-or' as 'Lector', a possible English rendition is:

    "Reader, it pleases me to see what follows:
    J.D. Zelenka - faithful friend and servant
    in the beginning and at the end – wished to
    attribute these things to the honour of their
    virtuous possessor (to whom) they were presented
    indeed in Dresden at sunset on the third of April"

    (with thanks to Dr John Godwin for his help with the translation)

    Alex

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thank you, kind Alex! My medieval rounds group will be delighted with the information you gave me, and I really appreciate the help! Did Zelenka use chronograms often? I'll look for your other post.

    Thank you again!

    --Celia

  6. #6
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    Default

    This is interesting! The next obvious question is did Zelenka encode things in the actual music, not just the dedication? Just thinking of the numerology reported to be in some of Bach's works.

  7. #7

    Default Riddles

    Without revealing any details (since I scarcely know them), it has been suggested that Zelenka was clever enough to do this (in the Trio Sonatas, I think). This was put forward by a former Zelenka scholar (Professor Reich, who did the ZWV thing).
    ________
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    Last edited by paperMoon; 27-01-2011 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default

    We are not the first ones to try to work out solutions to the things Zelenka wrote. In 1735 the highly learned composer, theorist and lexicographer Johann Gottfried Walther marvelled at Vide Domine, saying it was wrapped in mystery. I prefer the old and beautiful slow recording of Vide Domine and often play it on repeat for the trance like effect it produces.

    Zelenka not only used chronograms, he used a palindrome in the crabcanon ZWV 178 ‘Emit amor te ama et Roma time’. In 1987 Dr. Wolfgang Reich put forward his theory on the numerical codes in the Trio Sonatas, and since then he has been evolving his ideas. I think we should have an open mind to what Dr. Reich is saying - he's working on a book where he reveals everything. When I spoke to him in Dresden a while ago, amazingly on the eve of his heart implant, he was very excited about his theories - and I remember how our conversation ended. He said: Zelenka is the greatest mathematician in the history of music.

  9. #9
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    Default Interesting!

    Alex,

    I find these "chronograms" quite interesting. I'm curious about the last one you cite:

    "DabantVr Vero ILLa In DresDa noVa
    tertIa aprILIs In abItV soLIs" = 1728

    Are you reading the "IV" in "abitu" as 6 (in the sense of I + V = 6)? Are they all additive or might the "IV" be read together as 4?

    Randy


    Quote Originally Posted by alexwent
    This is a chronogram (see my as yet unanswered post on Zelenka's name in this forum) with the year 1728 as the answer. Extracting the Roman numerals from

    "VIrtVosI possessorIs honorI apponere ILLa VoLVIt
    Ionannes DIsMas zeLenka" = 1728

    "fIDVs In prInCIpIo In fIne aMICVs
    et serVVs" = 1728

    and finally

    "DabantVr Vero ILLa In DresDa noVa
    tertIa aprILIs In abItV soLIs" = 1728

    Cordially,

    Alex

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Is this a riddle?

    Quote Originally Posted by djdresden View Post
    When I spoke to him in Dresden a while ago, amazingly on the eve of his heart implant, he was very excited about his theories - and I remember how our conversation ended. He said: Zelenka is the greatest mathematician in the history of music.
    ^Can't wait to read what he has theorised!!

    Seb

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