PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Paris, France, Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds latin MS 16664 (olim Sorbonne 1479)

Manuscript type: music treatise(s) with appended polyphony

RISM siglum: F-Pn lat. 16664

DIAMM Source Key: 1982

Image repositories: Gallica

Folio(s): All folios

Date: Late 15th century

Copied in the late 15th century (see Waesberghe 1955 and Bridgman 1984), or in early 16th century (Jeppesen 1935) probably in North-East France or Southern Netherlands.

Location of origin: Belgium ; France


1. Perhaps in Italy in late 15th or early 16th century: marginal annotation (lyrics) in Italian (f. 96v). 2. Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal de Richelieu (b. 1585, d. 1642): shelfmark 'MS Richelieu cccxcix' and '439' crossed out; included in the 1643-44 inventory prepared after Cardinal's death by librarians Blaise and Vitré for Richelieu's grand nephew Armand Wignerod: inscribed 'Blacjus 2931 Vitré' (f. iv recto); moved to the Library of Sorbonne in 1660; 3. Passed to the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1796 and included in 'fonds de la Sorbonne' (shelfmark 'Sorb. 1479' (f. iv recto)) and subsequently in 'fond Latin' in 1868.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe
Note: ff. 86v-98v copied by one main scribe, with later additions by one or two other hands.


Delisle 1870, 157; Coussemaker 1864–76 (reprint Hildesheim, 1963), iv, 434-469; Wolf 1910, vii; Royer 1913, 238-239; Jeppesen 1935, lv; Waesberghe 1955, 56-58, Tab. 16; Gallico 1963, IV, xv-xvi, 454-469; Cattin 1971, 275; Lipphardt 1971, 77; Bridgman 1984, 383-409; Christoffersen 1994, no. 272; Nemes 2013, 331, 332-335.

Basis for description: original

Paris, France, Bibliothèque Nationale, fonds latin MS 16664 (olim Sorbonne 1479), All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: iii + iii + 99 + iii

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 212 x 142

Quire structure: Text version

Non-musical texts: Collection of chants, prayers and treatises on music, including: an anonymous text on music (ff. 2r-3r); chants in German, incipit: 'Iesus ist em suesser', some with music (f. 4r); devotional chants and prayers predominantly to St Bernardin of Siena and the Virgin (ff. 4v-6v), with plainchant on f. 6v; fragment of John Peckham?, Philomena, title: Incipit cantus philomene; incipit: 'Philomena brevia temporis ameni' (ff. 7r-7v); extract from a printed book, Conradus de Zabernia, De modo bene cantandi choralem cantum, incipit: 'De modo irreprehensibiliter legendi in choro' [printed in Mainz 1474] (ff. 8r- 8r, 9v) with notes on music in Latin (ff. 8v-11r), plainchant fragments (ff. 9r, 9v, 10v) and diagrams; devotional texts and prayers (ff. 13r-15r); extract from a printed book Conradus de Zabernia, Tractatus de musica, 'Cum ut quidam sapiens ait' (ff. 15bis-26r); diagram of the gamut (f. 26v); notes with plainchant (ff. 27r-36r); Guido of Arezzo, Micrologus (ff. 36r-39v); Summula musice (sometimes attributed to Guido of Arezzo), incipit: ‘Dat de psallendi metis pariterque canendi’ (ff. 39v-43v); tract attributed to Guido of Arezzo, incipit : ‘Incipit opus Guidonis’ (ff. 45v-47v), with notes and plainchant fragments (ff. 44r-45r, 47v-61v); Tract on contrapunct, incipit: ‘Item notandum quod septem sunt reformationes in manu videlicet’ (62r-85v), including examples of polyphonic settings (ff. 82r-85v).

Other devices: 1. Modern ink foliation recto top right, 1-15; 15bis-98.
2. Quire/leaf signatures: 'b' (f. 63r); 'c' (f. 64r); 'b' (f. 71r).

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying



Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking sometimes
Ruled grid never,
No justification lines or text lines.
Ruling pattern fairly regular
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
n/a always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
brown normally
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single always Indentation of uppermost staves on each page only.
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid normally
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
not in dedicated space often
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation and staves extended into margin sometimes 88v, 89v, 90r, 93r, 97r
partial additional staves rarely 98v

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
provided with single incipit tenor rarely 94v, 96v
fully texted with one or two texts discantus normally 86v, 87v, 88v, 89v, 90v, 91v, 92v, 94v, 95v, 96v, 97v Text crossed out: ff. 86v, 87v, 88v, 89v, 90v, 91v
partially texted with one or two texts tenor rarely 87r, 95v Text crossed out: f. 87r
provided with one or two incipits contratenor occasionally 87r, 90r, 95v-96r Text crossed out: ff. 87r, 90r
fully texted with one or two texts tenor sometimes 88r, 89r, 90r, 90v, 91v, 93r, 97v Text crossed out: ff. 88r, 89r, 90r, 90v, 91v
fully texted with one or two texts contratenor sometimes 88r, 89r, 91r, 92r, 93r, 95r, 98r Text crossed out: ff. 88r, 89r, 91r, 92r
fully texted with one text bassus normally 91r, 92r, 95r, 98r Text crossed out: ff. 91r, 92r
provided with single incipit discantus rarely 97r, 98v
untexted tenor rarely 97r
fully texted with one text tenor primus rarely 95v
fully texted with one text tenor secundus rarely 95v
untexted bassus rarely 96r
Colour(s) of notation brown
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note Rhomboid-shaped notation
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy fair
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
repeat signs 87r, 88r
signes-de-renvoi 88v-89r
Later changes Folios
Added 'Lauda Syon salvatorem', in a setting for 3 voices, with tenor fully texted and other voices provided with single incipit (f. 86v) and 'Ora mai son in eta' in a setting for 2 voices (ff. 91v-92r). 86v, 91v-92r
Types of script cursive (bastarda)
Level of calligraphy fair,
ff. 91v-93r,
Level of calligraphy deteriorates from f. 94v onwards.
Colour(s) of text brown
Multiple texts yes
86v-88r, 95r, 95v
Text repetitions few
89v, 90r-91r, 92v-93r, 95r-95v
Abbreviations few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
89v, 90r,
Text crossed out.
Liminary text Performance instructions: 'verte cito' (ff. 90v, 91r, 91v, 97v), 'verte folium' (f. 98r) ; voice names: 'Tenor' (f. 90v), 'Contratenor' (f. 91r), 'Duo' (f. 96v) ,
90v, 91r, 91v, 96v, 97v, 98r
Later changes Added 'Lauda Syon salvatorem' (f. 86v) and 'Ora mai son in eta' (ff. 91v-92r).,
86v, 91v-92r


Level of Decoration n/a