Gaudeamus Igitur (" Alegrémonos pues") it is the university hymn par excellence. One is a student song of anonymous author. In fact Of brevitate was calld vitae (" On the brevity of vida") and Century XVIII was sung initially in German universities in the middle of . is the hymn of Goliardía and in 1959 was chosen hymn of Universiadas .

Although its letter is little academic, the majority of universities European it usually takes like own hymn, intoning it in the great academic solemnities; however, many choirs interpret only some verses then some others are not " politically correctas" like for example the one that says:

" Vivant omnes virgines, easy, formosae
vivant ET mulieres
ternerae, amabiles
bonae, laboriosae"

Nobody knows the exact origin nor the name the composer. It is thought that music is of Johann Cristian Grüntaus (1717) and was rewritten in 1781 by Chétien Wilhelm Kindleben, theologian gospeller (Berlin 1748-Dresden 1785).

Another university hymn exists, much less well-known, Veni Creator, of more religious content.

Letter of the song

Origin of the letter

The letter could be of Century XIII, on the basis of a manuscript in Latin dated in 1287 found in National Library of Paris . The words of some verses are almost identical, although the expression " gaudeaumus igitur" it does not appear. There is music in the manuscript but it does not have similarity with the melody that is known at present.

A German translation of all the verses became towards 1717 by Johann Christian Günther and begins by " Brüder, laßt uns lustig sein". This German text, without music, was printed in " Sammlung von Johann Christian Günthers" (Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1730).

Aside from the Latin manuscript of 1267, the well-known oldest version is in a hand-written, dated student song book between 1723 and 1750, that is at the moment in the Westdeutsche Bibliothek de Marburg. It differs considerably from the present version.

The first well-known appearance of the modern version of the Latin text is in " Studentenlieder" of C. Kindleben, published by Finds in 1781. In the page 56 Kindleben it affirms that it has made important changes to the Latin text. Any copy of that work but of a reprinting in 1894 facsimile has not been conserved that is in Harvard University .

The melody

In 1782 the melody was so well-known that, in " Akademisches Liederbuch" of August Niemann (Dessau and Leipzig), in Yale University, is indicated how three poetries with this melody must be sung. The first printed document known the present melody is in " Lieder für Freude der Geselligen Freunde" published in Leipzig in 1788, page 24.

Even one of the most important composers of Century XIX, the German Johannes Brahms (1833-1897), includes in his " Akademische Fest-Ouverture" for orchestra, published in 1881. Brahms uses the student Gaudeamus as well as other songs in this overture of the Academic Festival (opus 80), composed in 1880 to thank for the doctor appointment honoris cause by University of Breslau . One is between his masterpieces.

Later elaborations

Diverse composers have incorporated the melody of Gaudeamus igitur to some of their works. Perhaps most well-known is academic Overture ( Akademische Festovertüre, op. 80) of Johannes Brahms . It composed it for a concrete occasion: the concession on the part of the University of Breslau of Doctorate honoris cause, in 1881. It uses melodies, well well-known, of diverse German student songs; the Gaudeamus appears of solemn form at the end of this work.


In the universities it is interpreted generally with cadence almost of religious music, which constitutes an error. Although it is in Latin, the letter is humorous and own of students of juerga that of protocolic acts. The logical thing would be more that, at least, it was interpreted with a more alive rate, in agreement with the words, with or without the doubtful verses that they are mentioned more above.

It is also seen

  • In Castilian, it does not have the complete letter, good information, failures in the translation, last verse of the third changed verse
  • Complete letter, very complete information, in English and German.
  • and complete Letter, with verses V and I SAW changed of order. Very good information, in English.

See: Гаўдэамус .

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