"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Period: 1420 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
14.3 x 19.5 inches
36.3 x 49.5 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.
From an early 15th century Catholic Gradual, this large sheet of vellum has beautifully written manuscript, five-line music on both sides. Written in black and red ink with a unusual initial in the form of a jester on the recto and a large red and blue initial decorated in intricate filigree penwork on verso.
There are two minor tears in the blank margin.