Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
14 x 19.5 inches
35.6 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.
A large vellum leaf from an antiphonary. Both sides with six staves of five-line music, written in black and red ink.
Light toning and soiling with some overall rippling of the vellum. There is a short tear at bottom left that was previously repaired but has torn again.