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 5665

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: GB-Lbl Add. 5665

DIAMM Source Key: 796

Image repositories: DIAMM

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c.1460-1510

C. 1460-1510 (Miller 1948); c. 1500 (Greene 1962).

Location of origin: England, Great Britain


Of English origin; probably copied at a Franciscan monastery in Devonshire, but designed for lay services (Miller 1948). Possibly originated at Exeter Cathedral (Stevens 1952). Thomas Packe may have played a significant role in the compilation and copying. Manuscript later owned by the antiquarian Joseph Ritson, who donated it to British Museum in 1795.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe


Miller 1948; Stevens 1952, I, 217-9, 480, passim; II, 1-35, 456-66; Greene 1962, 91-2, 115-6, 175; Bent/Bent/Trowell 1970, IV, xix, 125, Xll, xiii, XVIII, xv, 101-2, 106, XXXVI, xvii-xix, xxiv, l-23, 155ff; Benham 1977, 105-11, passim; Census-Catalogue 1979-88, II, 43, IV, 424.

Basis for description: original

London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Additional 5665, All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment and paper (mixed)

Number of leaves: viii + 146 + v

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 258 x 180

Quire structure: Text version

Index / Table of Contents: Modern index (19th century?) on ff. 1r-2v

Other devices: 1. Original ink foliation, 5-143 (first four and final three folios now unnumbered due to frayed corners).
2. Modern pencil foliation, 1-149, begins with seventh modern flyleaf.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking normally,
in upper and lower margins for outer justification line
Ruled grid always,
ff. 3r-121v: single bounding lines left and right ruled in red ink c. 120 mm apart. Ff. 107v-148r: bounding lines ruled in brown ink c. 140 mm apart. On ff. 107v-121v, the ruling retains at first the pattern from the previous quires, but only the inner bounding line is used while the outer one is ignored and another bounding line added to allow the creation of longer staves.
Ruling pattern fairly regular
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
brown ink sometimes 107v-148r justification lines c. 140mm apart
red ink normally 1r-121v justification lines c. 120mm apart
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
brown always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge normally
freehand rarely 123v-124r
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single sometimes 4v-52v, 60v-62r, 65v-73r 4v-52v: notation indented on staves for first stave of tenor voice (in score format) 60v-62r, 65v-73r: notation indented on staves, first stave of each voice
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
left below voice parts as part of grid often
empty ruled staves on grid occasionally
none sometimes
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space normally When separate text is included, it is normally in a dedicated space: in the lower part of the page where staves have been omitted from the (fairly flexible) grid.
not in dedicated space rarely 11r, 38v-39r, 61r, 135v-136r, 140v-141r written in ruled staves: 11r, 61r, 135v-136r, 140v-141r; written in side margins: 38v-39r
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation extended into margin occasionally
partial additional staves rarely 5r, 8r-v, 95v, 109r
made for complete additional staves rarely 10r, 38v-39r, 50r, 53r, 54v, 62v-64r, 121r, 134v-135r, 143r
staves extended into margin rarely
notation and staves extended into margin sometimes
staveline added rarely

Copying of text and music

Language(s) English, Latin
Order of Copying text first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text all voice parts normally 3r-4r, 5v, 6r, 9r, 38v-39r, 47v-48r, 54v-65r, 69v-70r, 73v-144r, 145r
fully texted with two or more texts all voice parts rarely 102v-103r, 141v-142r, 145v-146r Fully texted with three texts.
untexted all except tenor sometimes 4v-5r, 6v-25r, 26v-38r, 39v-47r, 48v-53r Score format
fully texted with one text tenor sometimes 4v-5r, 6r-25r, 26v-38r, 39v-47r, 48v-53r Score format
fully texted with one text altus rarely 6r score format
untexted all except discantus rarely 53v-54r
fully texted with one or two texts discantus rarely 6r, 53v-54r, 65v-69r, 70v-73r 6r: score format
provided with one or two incipits tenor primus rarely 65v-69r, 70v-73r
fully texted with one or two texts tenor secundus rarely 65v-69r, 72v-73r
partially texted with one text tenor secundus rarely 70v-72r
Colour(s) of notation black red dark brown
Colour of notation note <p>red coloration ff. 4v-59r</p>
Type(s) of notation chant (square), full mensural, void mensural, strene notation
Type of notation note void notation: 3r-5r 38v-39r, 54v, 59v-113r, 123v-124r, 126r-129r, 133v-148r; full notation: 5v-38r, 39v-55r, 56v-59r; chant notation: 47v-48r, 95v; chant-like 'strene' notation: 54v-56r, 59v-60r, 113v-120r, 122r-123r, 124v-132r, 145r.
Monophonic notation present
47v-48r, 95v
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
coronae present
end symbol double line (usually); occasionally pairs of dots on either side (e.g. 118v-120r), perhaps indicating repeats?
repeat signs Occasionally pairs of dots on either side of the end barline (e.g. 118v-120r), perhaps indicating repeat signs?
signa congruentiae e.g. 38v
pointers A sign resembling a tironian note for 'et' indicating a new section (e.g. 131v-135r and elsewhere)
Line fillers Folios Note
Later changes Folios
paper pasted over stave with a correction - fairly common 19r, 22r, 29r, 31v-32r, 42r, 149r [and elsewhere]
ff. 63v-64r was perhaps originally blank, now has text and music added (informal scripts) 63v-64r
The text and part of a stave line on the lower part of f. 25v forms the bottom of f. 26v, which is missing the lower part of the folio. (The upper part of f. 25v has blank ruled staves) When ff. 26v-27r is opening, the lower part of f. 25v is visible as if it were part of f. 26v. Whilst this was not necessarily copied after the initial production of the manuscript, it represents a 'later change' in as much as this was presumably not the original intention for f. 25v, given the blank ruled staves. 25v
Types of script cursive (Anglicana)
Types of script size position underlaid and liminary text, various hands
Types of script note varying degrees of formality
Level of calligraphy fair,
sometimes poor
Colour(s) of text red dark brown
26v: red ink used for 'faburdon', elsewhere all dark brown
Multiple texts yes
65v, 67v-68r, 72v-73r, 102v-103r, 135v-136r, 141v-142r, 145v-146r
Text repetitions fairly few
Abbreviations some
Non underlaid vocal text additional
Normally in lower part of page (usually versos), with staves omitted from grid; occasionally in blank ruled staves or side margins.
Liminary text voice names in left margins, liturgical ascriptions, 'verte (folium)', 'faburdon' (f. 26v), occasional composer attributions, tenor source, occasional titles, occasional performance instructions. 69v-70r: non-musical, Latin text in lower margins?


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 sometimes 4v-52v flourished, plain initials one stave high, at the start of the tenor voice (in score notation); notation indented on stave plain blue initials with red flourishing occasionally missing
initials planned rarely 60v-62r, 65v-69r, 70v-73r notation indented on one stave for each voice, first letter missing, cue letter sometimes present
penned initials rarely 69v-70r calligraphic , plain initials one stave high, notation indented on stave, start of each voice simple pen drawn initials
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
rarely decorative final long, end-symbol small decorative final long (elongated like a chequerboard) occasionally used in the 'strene' notation