PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: St Gall, Switzerland, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 462

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: CH-SGs 462

DIAMM Source Key: 959

Image repositories: E-codices

Folio(s): All folios

Date: 1510-c. 1530

c. 1510 (earliest layer), with additions to c. 1530.

Location of origin: Glarus, Switzerland ; Paris, France


1. Copied mostly in Paris, with later additions in Glarus. Compiled by Johannes Heer (ca. 1489-1553) of Glarus (inscription inside front cover and on f. 87': "Johannes Heer est possessor huius libri"; "Je suys au maistre Jehan her de glaris Lesquel moy / tient en grand honneur"); Heer was a friend of the chronicler Aegidius Tschudi (1505-72), also of Glarus. 2. Manuscript passed to Tschudi following Heer's death. 3. Sold 1768 with the rest of the Tschudi Nachlass to the Stiftsbibliothek.


Person: Heer, Johannes
Person type: scribe
Location of origin: Paris, France
Note: Copied mostly by Johannes Heer, with a few additions by several other scribes (probably Heer's associates at University of Paris).

Basis for description: original

St Gall, Switzerland, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 462, All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: iv + 87

Format: oblong

Page dimensions: 184 x 248

Quire structure: Text version

Title page / Frontispiece: owners note and librarians note and various other notes on front and back pastedowns (see [[Scarpatetti 2008]])

Non-musical texts: added poems on various blank pages or parts of pages

Other devices: 1. Contemporary foliation 1-71, black ink top right, continued in black ink (72-73, 18th century) and pencil (74-87, 19th century).
2. 19th-century library pagination 1-9 (front endpapers), pencil top corners, continued in pencil (10-182, 20th century)

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid sometimes,
double line to left and right, rarely, no lines for text
Ruling pattern fairly irregular
2-6 pentagrams, quite variable in precision and regularity of size and spacing
Staves omitted from grid often
Incomplete staves rarely
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
red ink always when present
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
red always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single always At beginning of every voice, c. 20-25 mm; in latter part of ms. sometimes forgotten, in those cases music (and where relevant text) sometimes indented over ruled staves to accommodate initials (which are then often not executed)
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
variable space, not on grid often
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space often below voice part(s) on recto (rarely verso)
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation and staves extended into margin sometimes
partial additional staves occasionally

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
untexted all voice parts often
fully texted with one text tenor sometimes probably some or all added later
untexted all except tenor sometimes
fully texted with one text all voice parts rarely probably some or all added later
Colour(s) of notation black brown
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note teardrop shape with stem out of notehead for upstem notes
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy fair
Later changes Folios
many verbal texts added later by other hand(s), both underlaid and separately below notation on recto and (much more rarely) verso pages
Types of script cursive
Types of script size position German cursive, some with humanist elements especially in the Latin-texted works
Level of calligraphy fair,
Colour(s) of text black red brown
incipits of original scribe and voice designations mostly in red, added texts mostly brown to black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations fairly many
Non underlaid vocal text additional
Liminary text Voice designations written out, sometimes as pseudo-initials and continued between staves, sometimes fully between staves, sometimes written out in indentations, sometimes above staves. Mostly in red ink
Later changes much of the underlaid text apparently added later


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
painted initials rarely p. 9 calligraphic with decoration, flourished one-line initial for D penned initial decorated with coloured wash, floral motiv and abstract flourishing
penned initials sometimes calligraphic , calligraphic with grotesque heads, flourished, plain initials one-line initials, modest amount of penflourishing and ornamentation, occasional grotesque heads. From p. 20 onwards occasional monochrome red initials.
initials planned often From p. 20 onwards only occasional initials, from p. 30 none at all
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
often decorative final long