"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Period: 1700 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
14.3 x 20.1 inches
36.3 x 51.1 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.
This impressive elephant folio sheet of vellum contains seven staves of five-line music in red and black ink on both sides. The song translates as:
"Radiant white became his Nazarites, alleluia; they gave splendour to God, alleluia, and are curdled like milk, alleluia.
Their sound is gone out through all the earth; and their words to the ends of the earth.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit."
There is light staining, soiling, and some cockling mostly at upper right. The verso has more prominent toning and soiling with some remnants of old tape in the corners.