"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Manuscript Music
Period: 1450 (circa)
15.5 x 19.8 inches
39.4 x 50.3 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.
Bold textual leaves from an antiphoner of either French or Italian origin. The text is written in both red and black ink and decorated with several large and small decorative capitals executed in very intricate blue and penwork.
Some minor discoloration and cockling.