Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet

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“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Duis tellus. Donec ante dolor, iaculis nec, gravida ac, cursus in, eros. Mauris vestibulum, felis et egestas ullamcorper, purus nibh vehicula sem, eu egestas ante nisl non justo. Fusce tincidunt, lorem nec dapibus consectetuer, leo orci mollis ipsum, eget suscipit eros purus in antiie. Wait, what am I saying? Never mind.”

~ Oscar Wilde on Lorem ipsum

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet is a choral work by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, written sometime between 1350 and 1450.

It was set to the then-unknown text now used as a format testing device by publishers and web designers. The piece begins thunderously with the following words:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua.

Nobody is actually sure what this text means. Many suggest that it is something to do with the infamous Priory of Sion, but Verdi always denied that he had any involvement in this curious organisation.

A widely accepted theory is that it was actually a codified passage which inspired Giacomo Puccini to write his famous aria Che gelida manina (Your tiny hand is frozen), from the opera La Bohème. This results from an oft-cited scholarly tranlsation of "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet" as "Your red arse is very cold".

The piece is notable for its extremely dense harmonies, numbering 700 parts. It is very likely that it was never performed, due to the difficulty in producing such a cumbersome piece.

It is also noted for its interesting scoring, which includes, amongst others, the following instruments:

  • Eighteen-hand piano (one piano, played by nine pianists)
  • Top hat in A
  • Three-manual clavicytherium (upright harpsichord)
  • Hammer and sickle
  • Wooden door (tuned to B)
  • Town crier in E flat
  • Three-pronged fork
  • Twenty prong Fromitz Board in F minor
  • Gannet

Verdi is recorded as saying of the work: "If I had ever written an oratorio, each piece would have been in the style of Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. In fact, I nearly considered adding the piece to the score of Nabucco ... In hindsight, I was better off that I didn't."

When Verdi became the first posthumous Pope following his death, users of ouija Boards reported seeing messages which condemned the piece Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Contrary to usual practice, the Catholic Church heeded these warnings, and in 1905 a Papal bull De Verdis was issued, ordering that Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet be never spoken of again. This bull later led to the removal of Verdi's posthumous papacy.

See also[edit]