"[Antiphonal Leaf]", Anon.
Subject: Manuscript Music
Period: 1600 (circa)
12.5 x 17.5 inches
31.8 x 44.5 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.
A vellum leaf from an antiphonarium, probably of Spanish origin. Both sides with four staves of 5-line music, written in black and red ink. Recto is decorated with a large initial "I" in red and verso includes a decorative initial "M" black.
A bit of show through and soiling at bottom corner where the page was turned.