Oratorio - messa


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Ho appena scoperto questo fantastico e utilissimo forum... :)
I've just discovered this fantastic and usefull forum... :)

Sto traducendo una piccola bio che riguarda una cantante lirica, ed avrei bisogno di sapere la traduzione di 2 termini specifici, che si riferiscono al genere di composizione musicale.

I'm translating a short bio about an italian opera singer. I need to know the english words that refer to 2 specific kinds of music composition.

Le 2 parole sono:
The 2 words are:

Grazie in anticipo per il gentile aiuto che vorrete darmi...
Thank you in advance for your help...


PS: come si fa a contribuire al calendario? ho provato ma nn so come si fa... :p
  • I think "oratorio" has no translation in musical language; I agree about "mass" standing for "messa", yet it depends...I already happened to find the Italian "messa" instead of "mass", so that the advice of an English native might help to solve the doubt

    I agree with you, DDT. Sovente i termini musicali provengono dall'Italia e rimangono invariati, come "allegro", "piano", "soprano", ecc.
    Thank you very much! I suppose that those terms should be used in italian, but I was wandering for a confirmation.
    Infatti traducendo questa bio ho trovato molte parole nn tradotte.
    Le posso usare anche al plurale in italiano? MESSE ed ORATORI??
    Credo che i termini stranieri non vadano declinati, tranne casi particolari... però bisognerebbe valutare caso per caso; comunque, non possono considerarsi errori.
    I'm not so sure about other languages...as far as I know to use plural forms of foreign terms is forbidden by Italian grammar, so that for instance you cannot write "sono stato a molti meetings", you have to use the singular form "sono stato a molti meeting".

    Benvenuta Veronica!

    Oratorio - we use the Italian word. (Graziella - An oratory is a sort of church). Plural oratorios.

    Messa - Mass. Plural masses. We don't use the word Messa. You might quote a whole title in Italian, like "Messa in mi bemol", but normally you would call in "Mass in E flat". (I don't

    "Handel's oratorios are even more famous than his masses."

    When we borrow a foreign word, we sometimes let it keep its plural, but usually we form an English plural, like 'oratorios'. And the modern tendency is towards the English form. So there are just a few words like 'millennium' where you can use the original plural, 'millennia'; but even then, you can say 'milleniums'. For example, we say 'forums', not 'fora'. You couldn't say 'oratori' in English.
    The titles of musical works in French/German/Italian/Spanish are usually taken over untranslated into English:

    Puccini's Messa di Gloria
    Cavalli's Messa Concertata

    though they can be translated:

    Gounod's Messe de Sainte Cécile or St Cecilia Mass

    They are especially likely to be translated in cases where the title is a straightforward description:
    Monteverdi's Mass for Four Voices

    There is a difference here between "mass" and "oratorio" inasmuch as IT "messa" = EN "mass", whereas IT "oratorio" = EN "oratorio" (i.e. the EN word is a direct borrowing from IT). Thus: Giacomo Carissimi composed oratorios and masses.

    Some musical terms borrowed into English always retain their foreign plurals: "He will be singing Lieder by Schubert".

    With others, usage varies: "Two concerti" / "Two concertos". Generally speaking, where an English -s plural exists, the use of the foreign form is often thought to be pretentious. Nevertheless, where a phrase is taken wholesale from another language, the foreign plural is almost always preferred: "He wrote a number of concerti grossi". ("Concerto grossos" can be found, but on UK English-language Google scores only 4 hits as against 4,670 for "concerti grossi").

    So, to sum up: oratorio/oratorios and mass/masses, though you can use "Messa" if you are quoting the title of a work originally written in Italian.

    Rob625 said:
    ... there are just a few words like 'millennium' where you can use the original plural, 'millennia'; but even then, you can say 'milleniums'. For example, we say 'forums', not 'fora'. You couldn't say 'oratori' in English.

    In technical (scientific) lectures, I heard to use 'stimuli' as the plural for stimulus. This is clearly from Latin. In that case, stimulus was used for indicating a short electrical signal that makes a system to react.
    I wonder if this is correct in English or it is a sort of 'American version'.
    There are other examples of the kind, but right now I cannot think of them.
    Thank you very much for your help