PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Munich, Germany, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musica MS F (= MaiM 3)

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: D-Mbs F

DIAMM Source Key: 2063

Image repositories: Digitale Bibliothek (BSB Munich), IDEM

Folio(s): All folios

Date: 1508-34

probably c. 1509-25 (Kellman 1989).

Location of origin: Brussels, Belgium ; Mechelen, Belgium


Copied in Brussels/Mechlin as part of Netherlands court complex (Kellman 1999). Probably intended for Henry VIII, King of England, and his wife, Catherine of Aragon, but came instead to Munich, on a unknown route via the monastery of Weihenstephan which received it as a gift in 1717 from the court musician Georg Schneevogel. Probably came into the court library (later Bavarian State Library) in the course of the secularisation of the monasteries after 1803 .

Basis for description: high-quality image

Munich, Germany, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musica MS F (= MaiM 3), All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment

Number of leaves: i + 116 + i

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 375 x 275

Quire structure: Text version

Non-musical texts: Inscription inside modern front cover indicates that the following was written inside original back cover and removed when book was rebound: "Authore Ildephonso Morales Spagnol / Brüssel Majestro di Capella." Another inscription, only partially decipherable, on f. 118: "Ego dono Georgii Schnevogli Decani ad S. Joanne Baptista in monte … Caeremoniarii et organoedi aulici … 23 Jan … 1717."

Other devices: 1. Modern pencil foliation rectop top right (J. J. Maier), 3-118 (ff. 1-2 missing).
Heraldic emblems of Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII (pomegranate, greyhound, dragon, on ff. 3, 86v, 104v, respectively).

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking always,
for vertical bounding lines and (where not trimmed off) and for staves, although alignment of pricking and ruling sometimes unclear
Ruled grid always,
single line to left and right; text on single or double lines only where needed
Ruling pattern fairly regular
on ten-stave grid although not always very precise
Staves omitted from grid sometimes
Incomplete staves rarely
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
lead point always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single often
double sometimes for large initials at beginning of pieces and major sections (usually only D except for very first opening of a mass), also for 'Residuum' (much shallower indentation)
triple rarely 17v, 58v, 72v, 86v, 104v D initial at the beginning of masses
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
staves not ruled on grid often
empty ruled staves on grid rarely
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation and staves extended into margin occasionally
partial additional staves rarely
made for complete additional staves rarely

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text all voice parts always
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note rhomboid-shaped notation
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signes-de-renvoi sometimes
Line fillers Folios Note
occasionally repeated custodes, different Verte formulations
Text 1
Types of script cursive (bastarda)
Level of calligraphy high
Colour(s) of text black red
cantus firmus labels and sometimes beginning of Kyrie text in red
Multiple texts no
cantus firmus labels only, no full texts
Text repetitions fairly many
Abbreviations fairly few
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text Voice designations (with initials except for D) (black), Residuum (red), Verte instructions (red), canonic and Tacet instructions, sometimes humorous (red), composers and mass titles (both in red).
Text 2
Types of script display script
Types of script size position all liminary texts
Types of script note cursive (bastarda)
Level of calligraphy very high
Colour(s) of text red


Level of Decoration high
Decoration border frequency Border type Folios Size Position Description Discrepancies
rarely decorated 3r, 17v-18r, 37v-38r, 58v-59r partial borders: one-sided upper margin flowers, strawberries, red currants, pomegranates, birds, butterflies, snails etc. on ochre ground
rarely decorated 72v, 86v, 104v partial borders: two-sided outer margin, upper margin flowers, strawberries, red currants, pomegranates, birds, butterflies, snails etc. on ochre ground
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials normally calligraphic cadel-type initials, always at beginning of sections; usually one line except D which is often two lines. Relating to voice-names rather than sung text except in D.
painted initials occasionally 3r, 17v-18r, 37v-38r, 58v-59r, 86v-87r, 104v-105r decorated, decorated with grotesque heads Multicoloured and very elaborate, with flowers, plant motifs and some grotesque faces. Relating to voice-names rather than sung text except in D.