Catholic Church

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Catholic Church, Liturgy, Antiphonaries, Manuscripts, Musical notation, Gregorian chants, Antiphons (Music), Divine office (Music)


Bound collection of antiphons in Latin handwritten on vellum, possibly from a Spanish Catholic religious community. Possibly created in the 15th century.


Antiphonary appears to have contemporary binding, possibly of pigskin, over beveled wooden boards, blind-stamped with heavy metal corner pieces, and five large metal bosses on each cover with elaborate pierced surrounds, nails, and remnants of leather clasps with metal catches. One clasp remains intact.

Five-line staves in red. Five staves on each page. Black ink writing. Musical notation is in square notes.

Original numbering only on recto exists for leaves 4-90 and another set only on recto exists for leaves 94-115. These are mostly likely unique antiphons.

Leaf 1 is from Matthew 10:17.

Rubrics and calligraphic initials in red, blue, black and green. Some initials are geometrically patterned or filled with yellow and black. Some large initials are elaborately decorated with red margin pen flourishes. Antiphons written on end papers and glued to cover boards. Original vellum thumb tags.

Spine has remains of a handwritten paper label. Extensive physical evidence remains of past damage including wormholes, stains, and cockling, as well as repairs, such as adhesive residue and sewn tears. Records indicate the item has been in Special Collections, Xavier University since at least 1929 but provenance of the Antiphonary is unknown.





Physical Description

115 leaves of notated music, bound : vellum ; 69 cm


115 leaves

Item Identifier



MS-005, Antiphonary, circa 1450-1500


This work is in the public domain. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. When using images, credit to Special Collections and University Archives, Xavier University Library, Cincinnati, Ohio is requested.

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Creative Commons License
This work has been identified with a Creative Commons Public Domain Mark 1.0.


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