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vox humana

English translation: an organ stop (literal meaning: "human voice"; but do not translate in this context)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Latin term or phrase:vox humana
English translation:an organ stop (literal meaning: "human voice"; but do not translate in this context)
Entered by: Rowan Morrell
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

03:58 Oct 17, 2002
Latin to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
Latin term or phrase: vox humana
in the poem \"in westminster abbe
y\" in the first two lines it says
Let me take this other glove off
as the vox humana swells.
and the beuteous fields of eden
bask beneath the abbey bells.
rachel monroe
An organ stop
Explanation:
One of the stops in church organs. It makes the organ imitate (supposedly) the human voice. See link below.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:13:49 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also see

http://www.allenorgan.com/r-311.html

(centre-column of the table, about 1/3 of the way down)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:27:45 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This also relates to the expression \'to put out all the stops\' - literally, the organ-player pulls out the levers on all stops and the organ\'s music swells to the maximum.

Figuratively, \'to take out all the stops\' (at least in British English) means to put in the maximum effort, to go all out, to try really hard.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:28:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry - to pull out all the stops (not \'put\')

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 10:01:57 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Further to Rod below:

In this context, I believe you MUST leave in Latin as \'vox humana\', NOT translate it as \'human voice\'. This is a technical musical term, just as much as scherzo, fortissimo and allegro are (we don\'t translate them as jocular, very strong and quick, respectively: in music, we leave them as-is).
Selected response from:

John Kinory
Local time: 03:33
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your help. It has allowed me to understand this poem more correctly. Please take my name off of the list now that I have my answer. Thank you.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +5human voiceRowan Morrell
5 +3An organ stopJohn Kinory


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +5
human voice


Explanation:
This is Latin, not Yiddish - I have edited the question accordingly.

"Vox humana" means "human voice" in Latin. The phrase quite often seems to be used in relation to choirs. Consider the following example of a choir that actually calls itself "Vox Humana":

"'Vox Humana' means 'Human Voice.' We believe that the Human Voice is a beautiful instrument and, with the addition of text, is capable of expression beyond all other musical instruments. We are dedicated to exploring vocal music from the Middle Ages to the Avant Garde, from Bach to Beethoven to Brahms to Bartok and beyond."

In this poem, "vox humana" is referring to the voice of the choir. Hope this has helped.


    Reference: http://comnet.org/voxhumana/
Rowan Morrell
New Zealand
Local time: 14:33
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 12
Grading comment
it is a stop in an organ that sounds like a human voice

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Piotr Kurek
1 min
  -> Thanks Piotr.

agree  Roxana Marian
36 mins
  -> Thanks Roxana.

agree  Andrea Kopf
1 hr
  -> Thanks Andrea.

agree  Rod Darby: but just a niggling suspicion there's an organ stop called Vox Humana . . .
2 hrs
  -> It looks like your niggling suspicion is justified. However, because this is poetry, I wouldn't rule out the "human voice" angle.

neutral  John Kinory: It's an organ stop - Rod is right (see below)
3 hrs
  -> Ah, OK. Yes, it could very well be that here.

agree  marfus
7 days
  -> Thanks, although I think in this specific context, John's answer was correct.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)
The asker has declined this answer
Comment: it is a stop in an organ that sounds like a human voice

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
An organ stop


Explanation:
One of the stops in church organs. It makes the organ imitate (supposedly) the human voice. See link below.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:13:49 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Also see

http://www.allenorgan.com/r-311.html

(centre-column of the table, about 1/3 of the way down)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:27:45 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

This also relates to the expression \'to put out all the stops\' - literally, the organ-player pulls out the levers on all stops and the organ\'s music swells to the maximum.

Figuratively, \'to take out all the stops\' (at least in British English) means to put in the maximum effort, to go all out, to try really hard.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 08:28:17 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry - to pull out all the stops (not \'put\')

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-17 10:01:57 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Further to Rod below:

In this context, I believe you MUST leave in Latin as \'vox humana\', NOT translate it as \'human voice\'. This is a technical musical term, just as much as scherzo, fortissimo and allegro are (we don\'t translate them as jocular, very strong and quick, respectively: in music, we leave them as-is).


    Reference: http://www.organstops.org/s/SoloVoxHumana.html
John Kinory
Local time: 03:33
PRO pts in pair: 7
Grading comment
Thank you very much for your help. It has allowed me to understand this poem more correctly. Please take my name off of the list now that I have my answer. Thank you.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sue Goldian
9 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Rod Darby: nice one, John. But it still leaves us with translating it as 'human voice', I guess!
1 hr
  -> Sure - that's the literal meaning of the term. Thanks!

agree  xxxcmk
135 days
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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