La Gaya Scienza

The term la gaya scienza came from the language of Provence. It pertained to the new European poetry of the 12th century, which like all poetry, was often chanted or sung. The title of Friedrich Nietzsche's book "die Froehliche Wissenschaft" (La Gaya Scienza) seems to have been drawn in part from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom Nietzsche very much admired. In his lecture on 'The Scholar', Emerson wrote: "I think the peculiar office of scholars in a careful and gloomy generation is to be (as the poets were called in the Middle Ages) Professors of the Joyous Science, detectors and delineators of occult symmetries & unpublished beauties, heralds of civility, nobility, learning & wisdom; affirmers of the One Law, yet as ones who should affirm it in music or dancing."

La Gaya Scienza was commissioned for the opening of the Irving S. Gilmore Music Library at Yale University with funds provided by the Friends of Music at Yale. Premiered October 16, 1998.

La Gaya Scienza is dedicated to the indispensable workers at the Music Library at Yale University whose efforts make possible all Professors of the Joyous Science.