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Grave or grave ? (lost in translation... )

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Grave or grave ? (lost in translation... )

Postby sesquialtera » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:53 pm

Hello all
After listening to this piece : http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/27696
I was wondering : Most of "grave" mood organ music seems to be convenient for a funeral ceremony ...
In english, does the word "grave" in the title, or written at the gegining of the score, refers to location in the graveyard ?

In french, the word "grave" means both "seriously, not joking" and "low sounds, as 16' and 32' stops".
It seems logical : when you say something sad and serious, for exemple : "a tragic accident has occured", your voice gets down (in frequency), you're not joyfull...
But for several years now, I've noticed that (thanks to electronic "drum and bass" music), kids think that "grave" notes (low frequency sounds) are always powerfull ! (confusing frequency and strength... )
And more : "grave" tends to be used as a synonym of "great", "like a boss", or "you're completly right !"

Have you got the same confusing problems ?
sesquialtera
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Re: Grave or grave ? (lost in translation... )

Postby GrahamH » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:36 pm

One of the characteristics of the English language is that for many words there are two alternatives - one coming from a Norse or Germanic root, the other coming from a Latin root.
So, the two English nouns for a place where a corpse is buried are 'grave' (German)and 'tomb' (Latin).
Sometimes a word coming from the German root is spelled exactly the same as a word with a totally different meaning coming from the Latin root - 'grave' being a case in point.
The English adjective 'grave' meaning solemn or serious comes from the Latin gravis.
The fact that grave (= solemn or serious) music is played at funerals has nothing to do with the fact that the corpse will be laid to rest in a grave (= tomb).
As for the modern "pop" usages that you mention - I prefer not to go there! :roll:

Graham
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Re: Grave or grave ? (lost in translation... )

Postby sesquialtera » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:23 am

Thank you Graham for this detailed explanation.
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