A Conversation for Sol-Fa - The Key to the Riddle of Staff Notation

John the Baptist

Post 1

You can call me TC

We were reminded of this today. The Patron Saint of our local church is John the Baptist and during the sermon the priest explained that John the Baptist is the Patron Saint of church music(ians) because the good news of his conception made his father (Zacharius) sing. He also explained the Sol-Fa system.

Or something.

Today was the first Sunday after St John's day and this meant that we had a commemorative service as he is our patron. It was also dedicated to the church choir as this seemed a fitting time.

So the choir sang this morning smiley - headhurts and the tradition of awarding certificates to the members of the choir who had been active for 25, 40 and 60 (!) years was also celebrated.

And before you ask : No - I am NOT in the church choir! Fortunately we have a Young Choir which I am in.

TC ... not a croaky old lady yet.

John the Baptist

Post 2


The original song that gave us Do (or Ut) Re Mi was a hymn to St John

smiley - musicalnoteUt queant laxis
smiley - musicalnoteResonare fibris
smiley - musicalnoteMira gestorum
smiley - musicalnoteFamuli tuorum
smiley - musicalnoteSolve polluti
smiley - musicalnoteLabii reatum
smiley - musicalnoteSancte Iohannes


The 24th was St John's Day; almost exactly opposite to Christmas. St John's Eve is celebrated in Ireland; rose petals gathered that day (night?) and soaked in well water give you a potion that will make you beautiful all year. Because you're worth it.

John the Baptist

Post 3


But of course that was John the Evangelist, not John the Baptist.

The one that gave us The Revelation; St John the Divine.

John the Baptist

Post 4


Or perhaps not. The Saint John to "cleanse polluted lips" would indeed have been the Baptist, whose day is 24 June. Apologies. I always assumed that "St John" applied to the gospel writer by default; but it ain't necessarily so.

You notice that he cleaned them by applying solvent:

smiley - musicalnoteSolve polluti labii . . . smiley - smiley

John the Baptist

Post 5

You can call me TC

Yes, I was thinking too about John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and John the Apostle. I'm pretty sure I used to get them confused. Interesting topic for an entry.

John the Baptist

Post 6


As I understand it, the Apostle that Jesus loved was John the Divine, the Evangelist, writer of the Revelation. The one who became Mary's replacement son at the crucifixion. The one who wrote the Epistle.

The Baptist on the other hand was the guy in leather who lived on the interesting diet.

John the Baptist

Post 7

You can call me TC

But I thought the gospels were written several decades, if not centuries, after the time of Christ, which would mean that the Evangelist is not the same as the Apostle. Oh dear, I feel so uneducated.

John the Baptist

Post 8


Good old Wiki tells us "Today, most critical scholars are of the opinion that John was composed in stages (probably two or three), beginning at an unknown time (AD 50-70?) and culminating in the final edition (our Gospel of John) around AD 95-100" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_John

John, the "beloved disciple" is supposed to have died in Ephesus around AD 90. The scholars quoted by Wiki speak of the gospel as probably composed by a community of his followers.

Mark is believed to be the earliest gospel, at AD 65-70; though it refers to the destruction of the Temple which would place it after 70.

Never looked into this before. Mark is traditionally supposed to have been a scribe for Peter, and Luke for Paul.

"Matthew borrowed from both Mark and a hypothetical sayings collection, known by scholars as Q (for the German Quelle, meaning "source")."

Of course Dan Brown says John was really called Loretta.

John the Baptist

Post 9


Naughty of me. That last sentence needed a smiley - smiley to distinguish it from the rest. Life of Brian reference, in case you never saw that excellent work of theological criticism over there in holy Germany.

John the Baptist

Post 10

You can call me TC

Oh yes - the Python films have a great cult following here. But they had never heard of the TV series until very late. This is hardly surprising as the first versions televised were subtitled - completely wrongly. And later they dubbed them, but it was still a hopeless task because the puns and the surrealism didn't come across either, even when the translation was corerct.

Life of Brian I have never watched all the way through, although it's regularly shown on TV here. I think I just find it embarrassing.

The Gospels in my Bible are "according to St John..etc" In German they attribute them directly to the evangelists .. "Das Johannesevangelium". So "According to" is more accurate, as they obviously can't have been written by the apostles themselves, but are transcripts of what they have told their own disciples.

Thank you.

John the Baptist

Post 11


I first saw Life of Brian in Amsterdam the year it came out (1979), with my workshop partner. We bought the script and quoted it to each other endlessly in the workshop. Our wives didn't get the humour, and we couldn't bring them to see it because the film was banned in Ireland!

When we eventually got it on a worn-out video it underwhelmed them so much one or possibly both fell asleep.

But it is a classic. Give it another try. It is full of quotable quotes such as the following exchanges at a meeting of the Judean People's Front:

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
Attendee: Brought peace?
Reg: Oh, peace - shut up!

Reg: There is not one of us who would not gladly suffer death to rid this country of the Romans once and for all.
Dissenter: Uh, well, one.
Reg: Oh, yeah, yeah, there's one. But otherwise, we're solid.

The Life of Brian meticulously steers clear of mocking religion. It mocks stupid attitudes to religion and politics among other things. The various churches made asses of themselves by knocking it.

John the Baptist

Post 12


smiley - smiley

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