ANTIPHONAL: BENEVENTAN NEUMES

MS 1681
MS Short Title ANTIPHONAL: BENEVENTAN NEUMES
Text ANTIPHONAL: FEAST OF ST. GREGORY AND VIGIL OF ST. BENEDICT
Description MS in Latin on vellum, Montecassino, Italy, 2nd half of 12th c., 1 partial f. (ca. 1/2 f.), 13x21 cm, single column, (13x15 cm remaining, column width 15 cm), 6 lines remaining in a very fine Beneventan minuscule of the Montecassino type, 6 lines of Beneventan neumes on a single line red F-staff, 6 initials in red, 3-line initial in leafy design in black infilled with yellow-brown, 5-line initial B in very fine interlaced design of multiple spirals with entwined leaves and plants drawn in pale and dark brown and infilled in yellow-brown.
Binding
Context
Provenance 1. Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino (ca. 1150-); 2. Sotheby's 22.6.1993:14.
Commentary The Vigil is of St. Benedict himself, the founder of Montecassino in 530. Though on a much smaller scale, the interlaced initial is of very high quality and can be compared with those in the Montecassino Breviary dated 1153, now J.P. Getty Museum MS. Ludwig IX.1. (Virginia Brown: A second new list of Beneventan manuscripts (III) p. 317; in Medieval studies, vol. 56 (1994).) A decisive advance in the development of notation was made when the scribe drew a horizontal red line to represent the pitch F, and grouped the neumes about the line. In time a second line, usually yellow, was drawn for C'. This invention of the staff made it possible to note precisely the relative pitch of the notes of a melody, and freed music form its hitherto exclusive dependence on oral tradition. It was one of the most important events in the history of music. (D.J. Grout: A History of Western music. London 1962, pp. 55-56.)
Published
Exhibited
Mentioned
Boxing
Colophon
See also MS 055, Missal, Italy, early 12th c.
Place of origin Montecassino
Dates 2nd half 12c AD

Location