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 35087

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: GB-Lbl Add. 35087

DIAMM Source Key: 1897

Date: 1505-06

McMurtry 1967

Location of origin: Bruges, Belgium


Perhaps copied in Bruges (scribal concordance with B-Br IV.90/B-Br IV.1274/B-Tv 94). Compiled for Jérôme Lauweryn of Watervliet (d. 1509), an official at the Netherlands court during reigns of Maximilian I, Philip the Fair, and Margaret of Austria (inscription on f. 1: "Hieronymus Laurinus est meus herus"). Two English inscriptions (ff. 37v, 75v) apparently in 16th-century hands; manuscript probably came to England through connections between Lauweryn family and English humanists. Subsequent owners unknown until 19th century. Presented to British Museum by Herbert Thompson in 1897.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe


Madden et al. 1843–, [1894-9], 146; Wolf 1910; Hewitt 1942, 59, 133ff; Bruning 1959–, XIV, vii, x, xii, 1; McMurtry 1967; Braithwaite 1967, I-II, passim, V, 199-254; Jeppesen 1968–70, II, 67, passim; Census-Catalogue 1979-88, II, 72, IV, 426; Boorman 1983, 76, 86-9, 95-6, 101-3.

Basis for description: original

London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Additional 35087, All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment

Number of leaves: iv + 95 + iii

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 293 x 198-203

Quire structure: Text version

Non-musical texts: Inscription on f. 1: "Hieronymus Laurinus est meus herus".
Two English inscriptions (ff. 37v, 75v) apparently in 16th-century hands.

Other devices: 1. Original ink foliation, ii-xciiii, begins on new f. 3, counts stub as "iii," and runs congruently with new foliation until end (except that two consecutive folios are numbered "lxxxxiii").
2. Modern pencil foliation, 1-95 (one folio torn out between new ff. 3/4, leaving stub, labelled 3+; one folio missing at end, making last piece incomplete).

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking normally,
sometimes visible in upper and lower margins for justifications lines
Ruled grid often,
faint, often no longer visible.
Ruling pattern fairly regular
justification lines only
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves rarely,
It is unclear why this stave is incomplete mid-page, mid-part; it may have been an accident?
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
lead point normally Reddish brown in colour (presumably plummet), very faint/faded.
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
dark brown always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum rarely 1r-7v c. 16.5mm (quire 1)
single rastrum normally 8r-71v c. 17mm (quires 2-9)
single rastrum occasionally 72r-95v c. 14.5mm (quire 10 to end)
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
double normally staves indented at the start of each voice part
single occasionally single stave indented in lower part of page ff. 2r-19r (with some exceptions)
single rarely 3r notation indented on stave
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid often
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
not in dedicated space rarely 53v
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely 90v inserting omitted notes
notation extended into margin occasionally
notation and staves extended into margin occasionally
staveline added occasionally
Indentation for initials filled in rarely 90v

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Dutch, French, Italian, Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one or two texts all voice parts normally
provided with single incipit all voice parts rarely 16v-17r, 34v-35r
partially texted with one text all voice parts rarely 68v-69r, 80v-81r
provided with single incipit discantus rarely 90v-91r
fully texted with one text all except discantus rarely 90v-91r
partially texted with one text altus rarely 95v
untexted discantus rarely 95v
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note mainly in a single hand (or group of similar hands), with two different hands at the end of the manuscript (ff. 93v-94r, 94v-95v)
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signa congruentiae present
coronae present
end symbol a single, double or sometimes triple line
repeat signs 5v-6r, 21v-22r, 23v-24r, 25v-26r, 45v-46r, 55v-56r, 69v-70r
signes-de-renvoi 5v-6r, 90v, 93v-95v pairs of symbols
Line fillers Folios Note
occasionally 48v 107mm decorative long, extending to nearly the end of the stave
sometimes when there is a small distance between the final note and the stave end (under c. 20mm) then the custos is placed midway within this space. On f. 47v two custodes fill the space to the line end.
Later changes Folios
songs added to blank staves 1r, 93v-95v
Types of script cursive
Types of script size position underlaid text
Types of script note Varying degrees of formality. Some liminary text in a more formal script.
Level of calligraphy fair,
some decorative descenders indicate a high level of calligraphy
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts yes
5v-6r, 21v-22r, 23v-24r, 25v-26r, 55v-56r, 69v-70r
Text repetitions fairly many
Abbreviations few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
in blank stave
Liminary text 36v: "Contratenor Jo. de Vyzeto. In dyatesseron" 37v, 39v: "Agricola" 41v: "Laurentius .d.a." 42r: "Qui me sequitur ante me finitus est" 45r: "Verbonnet" 55v: Jo Mouton 62r, 92r: voice names incorporated into initials for lower voices 69v: "verte folium propter residuum" 79r: "benedictus appescelderus" 83v: "Canon Qui se exaltat humiliabitur" 88v: "Anthoine Fevin" 90v: "Residuum",
36v, 37v, 41v, 42r, 45r, 55v, 62r, 69v, 79r, 83v, 88v, 90v


Level of Decoration fair
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials sometimes 1v-26r calligraphic Normally two staves indented at the start of each voice part, although sometimes only one stave is indented in the lower part of the page Red and blue alternating calligraphic letters, occasionally with empty banners (perhaps for voice names?). Blue initial missing f. 26r. Initials missing 2v, 8v-9r, 18v-19r, 20v-21r.
penned initials rarely 27v-28r, 59v-60r, 61v-62r, 64v-65r, 89v-92r, 93v-94r calligraphic Two staves indented at the start of each voice part. Black calligraphic initials, often simpler than the red/blue initials found at the beginning of the manuscript
initials planned often 2v, 8v-9r, 18v-19r, 20v-21r, 26v-27r, 28v-59r, 60v-61r, 62v-64r, 65v-89r, 92v-93r, 94v-95r Two staves indented, cue letter often visible for discantus with first letter missing from underlaid text. First letter often present for other (lower) voices.
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
occasionally banner Banners (empty) incorporated within some of the red and blue initials (ff. 1v-26r).