Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
15.4 x 23.3 inches
39.1 x 59.2 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 impressive elephant folio sheet of vellum contains five-line music in red and black ink with a large initial in red and blue. The song is from Psalm 99 and translates as:
Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness. Come in before his presence with exceeding great joy.
Toning on one side of the sheet with staining through the center of the sheet.