PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Modena, Italy, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, alpha.F.9.9 (Ital. 1221; olim VIII.F.27)

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: I-MOe F.9.9

DIAMM Source Key: 963

Image repositories: Biblioteca Estense Universitaria

Folio(s): All folios

Date: 1495-6

Location of origin: Padua, Italy


Made in the environment of the Padua Cathedral school, given by Giovanni Francesco da Vaccarino to Francesco Fazi (Zanovello 2016). Later owned by Este family of Ferrara. Este family library transferred to Modena in 1598; joined to Modena university library in 1892

Basis for description: original

Modena, Italy, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, alpha.F.9.9 (Ital. 1221; olim VIII.F.27), All folios

Physical description

Material: paper (with parchment)

Number of leaves: ix + 80 + i

Format: oblong

Page dimensions: 112 x 166

Quire structure: Text version

Title page / Frontispiece: series of introductory paratexts in quire i.

Index / Table of Contents: 1. Modern alphabetical index, list of composers and summary of contents, bound in front on ff. ii-ix.
2. Original alphabetical index, ff. 3v-5v

Other devices: 1. Original foliation 4-7 (= 9-12); 14-18 (= 13-17); 21 (= 18); 30 (= 19); 33-38 (= 20-25); 43-48 (= 26-31); 54-80 (= 32-58); 82-89 (= 59-66); 91-101 (= 67-77); last three folios unnumbered.
2. Modern library foliation pencil recto bottom left, 1-80.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking always,
single prick in outer margins, aligned with bottom line of second stave (?)
Ruled grid always,
single vertical bounding lines; no text lines
Ruling pattern highly regular
5 pentagrams, very even
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
light brown ink always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
brown normally
gold rarely 8v painted over original black ruled staves
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single always staves 1 and 4, c. 15 mm, always
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid always stave 3 almost always left empty for verbal text; in 3v pieces staves 1-2 on recto pages also left blank
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space always stave 3 between voices

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Italian
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text discantus always
provided with single incipit all except discantus normally
Colour(s) of notation black gold
Colour of notation note <p>gold on f. 8v, staves 1-2</p>
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note rhomboid shaped notation
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy very high
Line fillers Folios Note
none ornaments at end of notation after final barline, but not for the purpose of filling the line
Types of script cursive (italic)
Level of calligraphy high
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
Liminary text Voice designations in initials


Level of Decoration very high
Decoration miniature frequency Folios Size position Description Discrepancies
often in space left empty by three-voice compositions and in margins or on empty staves Animals and plants, highly elaborate
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials always calligraphic , flourished At the beginning of every voice-part Multi-coloured cadel-type initials, with voice designations integrated for lower voices
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
normally decorative final long, end-symbol at the end of every voice extended and elaborate final long, followed by decorative end symbols, partly with plants, objects, human heads.