Gaudeamus Igitur is a traditional anthem for students all over Europe, played in many graduations and commemorative events. This tradition is kept alive in our institution thanks to the ICMAB Choir, who sings this hymn to all of their members once they become doctors. Do you want to know its origin?
On Thursday, 2 April 2020, Eduardo Pérez, researhcer at the NANOMOL group and member of the ICMAB Choir, defended his PhD Thesis on 3D Systems for immune cells culture and their applications in Immunotherapy through a videoconference from his home (and we interviewed him about it!) . The members of the choir could not commemorate his PhD thesis defense and graduation as usual, but they were decided to keep the long-held tradition.
It is hard to pin point when Gaudeamus Igitur became a part of scholar commemoration, or even when it was written. We do not know who wrote it originally, and the version that bands and choir's play nowadays is made from different parts written by different authors. Some of the lyrics come from as far back as 1287, from a manuscript that contains some of the lyrics of the song we know today.
Since then, many translations have been done through history. Some of them try to sanitise the lyrics, since they are often not actually suited for an academic context - the song is in part a celebration of the hectic student life -. However, the lyrics and music we use and know today come from a publication in 1781, by the hand of Christian Wilhelm Kindleben, who significantly changed the text to his current version.
ICMAB’s latest take to this traditional song is this quarantined rendition that the ICMAB Choir created to commemorate Eduardo Pérez’s PhD, with every member singing from their own homes.
This version will commemorate the PhD Thesis Defenses that happen these days during the Covid-19 pandemic, until the ICMAB Choir can reunite and finally sing together again.
If you want to know more about the lyrics and history of Gaudeamus Igitur, check out the Wikipedia page about it.
Cover image: ICMAB Choir singing Gaudeamus Igitur