"[Music] Missa Votiva Tempore Belli", Anon.
Period: 1750 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
13 x 19.3 inches
33 x 49 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.
This sheet of vellum includes part of the Missa Votiva Tempore Belli, a mass composed by the Czech Baroque composer Jan Dismas Zelenka in 1739. The sheet has two decorative capital letters illuminated in red, green, yellow and gold, and the recto has a lovely column entwined with garlands and ribbon in the border. Beginning with the large "T" on recto, the text translates as:
You alone are the God who works miracles.
You have made known your strength among the peoples.
With your arm you liberate your people,
the children of Israel and of Joseph.
Very minor soiling and a small hole in the bottom margin.