"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Period: 1450 (circa)
14 x 19.6 inches
35.6 x 49.8 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.
Fabulous sheet of manuscript music from a 15th century Antiphonal. The large vellum sheet contains lovely manuscript, five-line music in red and black on both sides. The verso passage is completely surrounded by elaborate decorations and includes a superb decorative initial at center. This sheet does not contain the normal semi-circular cutout (used for turning the pages), but does have the top outside corner cut away (perhaps for the same purpose).