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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: October ::
Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.1004  Monday, 19 October 1998.

[1]     From:   Bob Lockhart <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Oct 1998 14:55:15 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem

[2]     From:   Terry Ross <
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        Date:   Thursday, 15 Oct 1998 13:58:32 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0997  Non Nobis and Te Deum

[3]     From:   Hannibal Hamlin <
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        Date:   Friday, 16 Oct 1998 09:58:03 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0997  Two Questions

[4]     From:   Barbara D. Palmer <
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        Date:   Sunday, 18 Oct 1998 01:54:05 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bob Lockhart <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Oct 1998 14:55:15 +0000
Subject: 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem

In the eyewitness account contained in the Gesta Henrici Quinti, the
anonymous author made no mention of either Te deum or Non nobis being
sung at Agincourt.  However, he did mention that, at the victory
celebration that followed in London, a boys choir sang  "this angelic
hymn, following their texts: Te deum laudamus..."

On a subsequent foray to Normandy, Gesta recorded that the Earl of
Dorset also won a decisive victory over a larger French force.  "And he
straightway ordered to be chanted by his Chapel the angelic hymn: Te
deum laudamus..."

Bob Lockhart

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terry Ross <
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Date:           Thursday, 15 Oct 1998 13:58:32 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0997  Non Nobis and Te Deum
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0997  Non Nobis and Te Deum

> Does anyone know more about the song Non Nobis and Te Duem from Henry
> V?  I know Non Nobis is from Psalm 115.  But when were the song
> written?  I read somewhere that they were done during Henry V's reign,
> but am not too sure about that.  Can anyone enlighten me here?

"Te Deum" is credited at Michael Martin's "Treasury of Latin Prayers" to
Nicetas, a 4th-Century Bishop of Remesiana:
http://unidial.com/~martinus/thesaurus/Trinitas/TeDeum.html

"Non Nobis" I suppose should be credited to St. Jerome.

Terry Ross

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date:           Friday, 16 Oct 1998 09:58:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0997  Two Questions
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0997  Two Questions

Re. "Non nobis" and "Te deum":

I don't know much about the history of singing the non nobis, apart from
its history as a psalm text (though I have sung a setting of the text as
a round-used as a grace-which as I recall was by William Byrd; this
should be checked, since we sang by rote/memory rather than a printed
edition).  The Te deum goes back to the 6th century and has a nice
legend attached to its composition.  The story has it that it was
composed spontaneously by Sts. Ambrose and Augustine, who sang it in
alternatim as the former baptized the latter.  Needless to say, this is
not now generally accepted, though in breviaries up to Shakespeare's day
the hymn was still called the "Canticle of Ambrose and Augustine."  In
English translation, the hymn appears in all editions of the Book of
Common Prayer and was used regularly at Matins.  It was also set by
numerous composers, in both English and Latin.  There is a useful
article on the hymn in Julian's "Dictionary of Hymnology," and probably
others elsewhere (the New Catholic Encyclopedia, for instance).  As to
the musical settings in Branagh's film, the less said the better.

I hope this is of use.

Hannibal Hamlin
Renaissance Studies
Yale

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Barbara D. Palmer <
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Date:           Sunday, 18 Oct 1998 01:54:05 -0400
Subject: 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.1000  Re: Non Nobis and Te Duem

Sorry for the obvious, but the "Te Deum Laudamus" sung by audience and
actors at end of a "cycle" Judgment pageant or in a Harrowing of Hell or
death of Antichrist pageant is a "public rejoicing" indeed, and one
which far precedes _Henry V_.  Best source for those unfamiliar with
music in early English drama probably is Richard Rastall, _The Heaven
Singing.  Music in Early English Religious Drama_, Volume 1, Cambridge:
D.S. Brewer, 1996.  George Burnell and Dale Lyles are quite right: both
pieces are public commonplaces long before Shakespeare and were shared
as common cultural heritage with audiences and actors alike, much like
"Amazing Grace" or one's "hymn-of choice" today.  They also are far
easier to sing than "The Star-Spangled Banner"-numerous folks reading
this present note have blanched at a "Te Deum" photocopy shoved into
their hands immediately prior to a Domesday Pageant performance only to
acquit themselves quite well when called upon to sing at the last
judgment.
 

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