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 Royal Appendix 58

Manuscript type: partbook (single)

RISM siglum: GB-Lbl Royal App. 58

DIAMM Source Key: 1976

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c. 1515-40

Bernstein 1968. Lute pieces probably entered after 1551 (Ward 1960).

Location of origin: London, Great Britain


Probably copied in London (Greene 1962). Apparently a commonplace book in which several professional musicians associated with English royal court entered useful pieces (Stevens 1961). Possibly owned later by Henry Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel (d. 1580), whose library passed to his son-in-law, John, 6th Baron Lumley (d. 1609). Arundel-Lumley collection became part of Old Royal Library, which passed to newly founded British Museum in 1757.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe


Warner/Gilson 1921, II, 394; MGG1, VIII, 1177, XIII, 939; Hughes 1953, I, 139, 204, 212, 258; II, 1, 123-4, III, 57, 103, 181, 235, 313, 375; Ward 1960; Greene 1962, 173; Parton 1964; Bent 1968, 148, 150; Bernstein 1968, 30-40; Census-Catalogue 1979-88, II, 109.

Basis for description: original

London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Royal Appendix 58, All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: vi + 58 + v

Format: oblong

Page dimensions: 150 x 210

Quire structure: Text version

Title page / Frontispiece: Fragment of original title page ('tenor') pasted to f. 1r, other fragment from title page pasted to f. 2r.

Other devices: 1. Modern ink foliation, 1-58, crossed out and replaced by more recent pencil foliation, 1-60, which begins with fifth flyleaf. The latter (1-60) is used here.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid normally,
ff. 3r-25v: faint lead justification lines and text lines, occasionally brown ink used for one justification line. ff. 26r-50r: brown ink justification lines, upper stave line of first stave extends into margin ff. 50v-60v: no grid visible
Ruling pattern highly irregular
Staves omitted from grid occasionally
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
brown ink often 26r-50r brown ink justification lines, with upper stave line extending into margin
lead point and brown ink sometimes 3r-25v faint lead point justification lines and text lines, occasionally brown ink is used for one of the justification lines
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
brown always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge normally 3r-60v
freehand rarely 60v
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single rarely 3v-4r. 6r-v, 7v, 17v, 23r notation indented on staves
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid often
staves not ruled on grid sometimes 3r-14v
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space occasionally 3r-14v staves omitted from grid ff. 3-14; thereafter no separate text.
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely 29v, 34v
notation extended into margin occasionally
notation and staves extended into margin occasionally
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
partially texted with one text all voice parts rarely 8r
untexted all voice parts occasionally
provided with single incipit all voice parts rarely 30r-32r, 39v, 59v
Colour(s) of notation blue dark brown
Colour of notation note <p>blue: f. 11v</p>
Type(s) of notation chant (square), full mensural, void mensural
Monophonic notation present
27r, 27v, 32v, 39v, 58v-59v
Level of calligraphy fair
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
end symbol variable: sometimes no line, sometimes single, sometimes double occasionally the final note divides into a third and comes back to the unison
signes-de-renvoi 29r, 34v used in conjunction with partial additional staves, drawn to insert notes which had initially been omitted
signa congruentiae some
Later changes Folios
various different hands contributed to this partbook, some of which may be later additions
original music crossed out, first two staves rewritten into blank staves 8v
faded staveline redrawn 15v
Types of script cursive
Types of script size position underlaid and liminary text
Types of script note various hands with various degrees of cursivity
Level of calligraphy fair
Colour(s) of text red dark brown
red composer attribution in upper margin of f. 59v, maybe later addition
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions fairly many
Abbreviations fairly few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
staves not ruled as part of grid; later in book where no space is left, no non underlaid vocal text is copied
Liminary text 'ut supra', 'finis', some titles, some composer attributions, some voice names


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
initials planned rarely 3v-4r, 6r-v, 7v first stave only: notation indented on stave notation indented on stave, cue letter visible
penned initials rarely 3r, 17v, 23r calligraphic , calligraphic with decoration, calligraphic with grotesque heads 3r: before stave 17v: notation indented 23r: stave indented dark brown calligraphic initials, touched with red ink man's head present inside initial on f. 17v
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
occasionally end-symbol end symbol sometimes decorative - either expanded final note and/or some decoration added to final barline