"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Period: 1600 (circa)
17.8 x 26.8 inches
45.2 x 68.1 cm
The origins of liturgical music traditionally date back to St. Gregory the Great (d. 604), who was inspired by the Holy Dove to record the principles of 'Gregorian' chant. The Gradual contained the musical parts of the Missal and was sung from the steps (gradus) of the altar. The Antiphoner contained the musical sections of the Breviary. These terms have become interchangeable in modern times. Because of their size and complexity, these manuscripts were still being handmade in the traditional way for centuries after the introduction of printing. They were boldly hand-written and illuminated on large sheets of sturdy vellum so that the entire choir could read from one book.
A huge sturdy sheet of vellum containing six staves of five-line music on each side. Written in red and black with large initials on each side. The initials on the recto includes a large bold initial "M" drawn in black and gold, while the verso includes a full-stave initial "P" decorated with delicate blue and red penwork extending into the margin.
Scattered spotting of candle wax and a small hole in the bottom stave.