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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000113.txt from 2010/05

From: "Steve Hartman" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] mozart
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 13:51:39 -0400


You could put it in Wikipedia and then it would become a citable fact.
Thanks for your honest scholarship. I wouldn't be at all surprised if =

you're indeed correct.

-Steve Hartman

----- Original Message ----- =

From: "Dan Leeson" <>
To: "The Klarinet Mailing List" <>
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [kl] mozart

Well, you have me there, and you sent me in a mad drive through my German
dictionary, the Oxford dictionary, and several other sources. But none of
them corroborate my assertion that the "Ur" of Urtext derives from the
biblical city.

That all German words using it as a prefix (Urquelle, Urbevoelkerung," etc.)
point to the earliest of something, it is not outrageous to suggest the
relationship between the prefix and the oldest city of Ur.

It is fascinating that I have been using that expression about the origin of
Urtext for years and years, only to find out that I have no source to allow
such a use. I'm still going to use it, but more judiciously.

Dan Leeson

----- Original Message ----- =

From: "Michael Nichols" <>
To: "The Klarinet Mailing List" <>
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2010 8:11 AM
Subject: Re: [kl] mozart

On Fri, May 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM, Dan Leeson <> wrote:
> The term "urtext" derives from the biblical reference to the city of Ur,
> which is suggested to place where everything began; i.e., the origin.

Where did you hear that, Dan? I've never heard that before.

"Urtext" is a German word, and "Ur-" is a common German prefix that
denotes that something is first or original. Many German words
contain this prefix, such as "Urquelle" (wellspring--literally,
"original source"), "urspr=FCnglich" (original), "Urbev=F6lkerung"
(indigenous/aboriginal population), "Urbild" (model--literally,
"original picture").

"Urtext" literally means "original text." Another German word with a
similar meaning is "Urschrift" (manuscript--literally, "original

As far as I know, the prefix "Ur-" has been a part of the German
language since time immemorial and has nothing to do with Ur of the
Chaldeans (which was in what is present day Iraq, a little way's
northwest of Basra).
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