PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

Mise-en-page in manuscripts and printed books containing polyphonic music, 1480—1530

Manuscript: London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Additional 31922

Manuscript type: chansonnier

RISM siglum: GB-Lbl Add. 31922

DIAMM Source Key: 1238

Image repositories: DIAMM

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c. 1510-20

Location of origin: London, Great Britain


C. 1510-20 (MB). Probably copied in London, as an anthology of repertory of court of King Henry VIII. Stevens 1952 suggests book was presentation or "library" copy for a noble amateur associated with court, perhaps Sir Henry Guildford (1489-1532) of Benenden, Kent, Controller of the Royal Household; several names scribbled on back flyleaves refer to Benenden. Later owners include Thomas Fuller, M.D. (1654-1734), of Sevenoaks, Kent (bookplate); Stephen Fuller of London (inscription, dated 1762); Archibald, 11th Earl of Eglinton (1726-96); and Sir Charles Montolieu Lamb (d. 1860), of Beauport Park, East Sussex. Purchased by British Museum from Lamb family through firm of Quaritch in 1882.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe


Madden et al. 1843–, [1882-7], 7-9; Chappell 1867; MGG1, II, 1340, VI, 71-2, VIII, 1176, XIII, 938-9; Stevens 1952, I, 229-33, 480-2, passim, II, 231-428, 497-528; Stevens 1961, 4-5, 362, 386-425, passim; Stevens 1962; Greene 1962, 160-1, 174-5; Bent/Bent/Trowell 1970, VIII [rev. ed.], 94, 193, XVIII, XXXVI, xv-xix, passim; Edwards 1978; Fallows 1993; Fallows 2014.

Basis for description: original

London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Additional 31922, All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment (with paper)

Number of leaves: v + 128 + iii

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 317 x 214

Quire structure: Text version

Index / Table of Contents: Original index on ff. 2v-3r lists only pieces with original ink numbering (inaccurate after #49).

Colophon: Numerous references to King Henry VIII (The Kinge H VIII, The Kyng H VIII, etc.) in the upper margins.

Other devices: 1. Original ink numbering of pieces, i-lxxii, generally includes only texted works.
2. Quires marks on front recto; numbers 9 and 11 unnumbered, 10th quire is 'viiii', quires 12 and 13 truncated, making quire number illegible. Some alphanumeric quire numbering also visible, truncated, in the lower right recto corner.
3. Modern pencil pagination, 1-250, with errors, crossed out and replaced by modern pencil foliation, 1-130.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking normally,
pricking visible in upper and lower margins for justification lines; when additional (non underlaid text) is copied, pricking visible in outer margin for text lines (e.g. ff. 46, 73)
Ruled grid normally,
Horizontal bounding lines of the top line of the top stave of each voice extend all the way across the page. Vertical bounding lines don't always extend to the upper and lower limits of the page
Ruling pattern fairly irregular
Staves omitted from grid often
Incomplete staves rarely,
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
lead point and brown ink always lead point for the vertical justification lines and for the text lines where drawn; brown ink for the first stave line of each voice part, which extends horizontally into the margins
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single often stave indented for the start of each voice
none often
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid sometimes
left between voice parts as part of grid sometimes
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space normally space from unruled staves
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely 106r
notation and staves extended into margin occasionally

Copying of text and music

Language(s) English, French, Latin
Order of Copying text first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
untexted all voice parts sometimes
provided with single incipit all voice parts rarely 4v-7r, 21v, 41v-42r, 46v-47r, 49v-50r, 98r
fully texted with one or two texts all voice parts often
partially texted with one text all voice parts rarely 25v
provided with single incipit bassus rarely 38v-39r, 40v-41r, 90v-91r, 99v-100r
untexted all except bassus rarely 38v-39r, 90v-91r
provided with single incipit discantus rarely 40v-41r, 86v-87r, 88v-89r, 99v-100r
untexted all except discantus rarely 86v-87r, 88v-89r
untexted all except discantus and bassus rarely 40v-41r, 99v-100r
fully texted with one text all except tenor rarely 73v-74r
untexted all except tenor rarely 82v-83r
provided with single incipit tenor rarely 60v-61r, 73v-74r, 82v-83r
fully texted with one text tenor primus rarely 60v-61r
partially texted with one text tenor tertius rarely 60v-61r
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note teardrop-shaped noteheads
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signa congruentiae some present, not common
Later changes Folios
two notes erased at the end of the 6th stave, found at the beginning of the 7th stave: duplication 11r
Types of script cursive (Anglicana)
Types of script size position vocal and liminary text
Types of script note varies between a stylised formata script and a less formal currens script
Level of calligraphy high
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts yes
87v-88r, 107v-108r, 109v-110r, 111v-112r
Text repetitions fairly many
Abbreviations fairly few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
15r, 29r, 31r, 33r, 35r, 36r, 38r, 39r, 40r, 46r, 49r, 52r, 55r, 56r, 66r, 69r, 71r, 72r, 73r-v, 85r, 88r, 95r, 96r, 97r, 107r, 111v,
in blank spaces where staves have been omitted from the grid prickings and rulings visible for non-underlaid vocal text usually below final voice, on recto, except ff. 72r, 73r, 111v where it falls between the two voices
Liminary text Title ascriptions; composer attributions (in lower part of the page, often in stave lines after end of bassus part); 'The King/Kyng/Kinge (etc.) H VIII' at the top of many of the versos, 'ut supra', canon instructions, tenor inscriptions.


Level of Decoration fair
Decoration miniature frequency Folios Size position Description Discrepancies
Decoration border frequency Border type Folios Size Position Description Discrepancies
never None None
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
painted initials rarely 19r decorated, plain initials one stave high, start of bassus part (stave indented) Illuminated H on a red and blue painted background
painted initials often flourished, plain initials Either: one stave tall, at the start of each voice (stave indented), or slightly larger than the normal text script, at the start of the underlaid text (stave not indented) Gold (illuminated) initial with black pen flourishing, or red initial with black pen flourishing, or blue initial with red pen flourishing. Not all songs begin with a decorative initial, some begin with a simple majuscule. 41v (and passim) no flourishing
initials planned rarely 86v, 106v First letter missing; cue letter present on f. 106v.
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies