"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Manuscript Music
Period: 1490 (circa)
13.2 x 17.2 inches
33.5 x 43.7 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 large vellum sheet contains lovely manuscript, five-line music in red and black on both sides. Both sides include three decorative initials in red and blue, or black and gold.
Some cockling and uneven toning. Vellum includes a small hole, which is an original flaw in the sheet, in the top stave.