PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Toledo, Spain, Catedral, Obra y Fabrica, MS Reservado 23

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: E-Tc Res 23

DIAMM Source Key: 1183

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c. 1520-1535

Snow 1983

Location of origin: Netherlands


C. 1520-35 (Snow 1983). Probably copied in Low Countries; original recipient not yet determined. Came to Toledo Cathedral on 11 June 1979.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe
Note: Copied by a single scribe (<a href="/bibliography/#entry960" data-tooltip="" class="has-tip tip-top reference" data-placement="top" rel="tooltip" data-original-title="" title="Census-Catalogue of Manuscript Sources of Polyphonic Music 1400-1550, eds Charles Hamm and Herbert Kellman, 5 vols, Renaissance Manuscript Studies 1 (Neuhausen/Stuttgart 1979-1988)"><i class="fa fa-book"></i>Census-Catalogue</a>).


Rubio Piqueras 1922–3, 27-9; Rubio Piqueras 1925, 59-62; Lenaerts 1952, 279-80 [incorrectly identified with MS 22 of Biblioteca Capitular]; Stevenson 1973, 89-90; Janini/Gonzálvez 1977, 272; Census-Catalogue 1979-1988, III, 215, IV, 477; Snow 1983.

Basis for description: original

Toledo, Spain, Catedral, Obra y Fabrica, MS Reservado 23, All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment

Number of leaves: iv + 306 [Flyleaves unfoliated, first three folios unfoliated, with foliation commencing with iiii on f. 4; f. CXCIIII erroneously numbered "CXCIIIbis"; "CCIX" applied to two consecutive folios, but "bis" added to second number.]

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 600 x 415

Quire structure: Text version

Index / Table of Contents: Original index on ff. [iiv-iiir] lists pieces in order of appearance (one piece listed out of proper order).

Non-musical texts: none

Other devices: Original red ink foliation, IV-CCCV (flyleaves unnumbered; first three folios unnumbered but counted in enumeration; f. CXCIIII erroneously numbered "CXCIIIbis"; "CCIX" applied to two consecutive folios, but "bis" added to second number). Some alphanumeric quire numbering visible in the lower right margin of rectos, in the first half of the quire.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking sometimes,
pricking visible on various folios in: upper margin e.g. ff. 129-132, 254; lower margin e.g. ff. 259-260; outer margin e.g. ff. 157-183
Ruled grid always,
text on single line, sometimes omitted when there is little text to be underlaid
Ruling pattern fairly regular
Slightly varying width of text block, usually around 275 mm; height varying considerably depending on the number of staves.
Staves omitted from grid often
Incomplete staves rarely,
5v-6r, 59r, 68v, 75v, 78r, 84r, 87v, 89v, 93r, 94r, 151v, 165r, 172r, 196r, 248r,
These may be later additions, but they are so neatly drawn (with the use of the same rastrum) that it is impossible to tell.
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
lead point always sometimes faint, but regularity of grid suggests it was always drawn
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum always 22.5-23mm (depending on spread of ink)
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single often At the start of new movements, at the start of new compositions not given two-stave indents.
triple rarely [IV]v-1r each voice has three staves indented for the first opening
double rarely 23v-24r, 45v-46r, 57v-58r, 98v-99r, 103v-104r, 116v-117r, 151v-152r, 199v-200r, 239v-240r, 271v-272r At the start of each mass and of the Et exultavit of Pichafort, the Passio Domini and the Pater noster.
double often Two staves slightly indented at the start of each voice for 'Residuum', which is written vertically. This indent is much smaller than those for initials.
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid sometimes
staves not ruled on grid often
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation extended into margin occasionally
notation and staves extended into margin rarely Usually only slightly; more extensive examples occur on ff. 84r, 195v, 294r.
staveline added rarely
partial additional staves none visible Perhaps the incomplete staves noted (ff. 5v-6r, 59r, 68v, 75v, 78r, 84r, 87v, 89v, 93r, 94r, 151v, 165r, 172r, 196r, 248r) were in fact added during the copying as opposed to the preparation stage. However, they are no different in appearance from the full staves.

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Latin
Order of Copying text 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 noteheads
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy very high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
coronae not extensively used
end symbol single or double barline
signes-de-renvoi Various different forms; combined with 'residuum' on ff. 15v, 136v.
Line fillers Folios Note
occasionally Sometimes the word 'verte' is contracted or expanded to fill the space to the stave end, e.g. f. 59r has 'vte' in the alto voice, and 'verte cito' in the bassus voice, each reaching the stave end.
Later changes Folios
clef of bassus voice corrected 44r
all music and staves erased 84v
small piece of parchment/paper pasted over first clef of Bassus part and in third stave of same part in order to make a correction 183r
erasure of one note leaves section of folio transparent 183v
three unused staves erased 275v
music and text erased, new music and text written on top 261r, 286r
Types of script cursive (bastarda)
Types of script size position liminary text sometimes larger in size. 'Residuum' written vertically.
Level of calligraphy very high,
Occasionally very long (decorative) descenders on lowest line of text.
Colour(s) of text black red
Normally text is written in black. Some underlaid words are occasionally written in red. Red is often used for liminary text (e.g. voice names, 'verte', 'residuum'), but this is not always the case, e.g. the first two quires (up to f. 16) have liminary text in black.
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions few
Abbreviations few
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text voice names, 'tacet', tacet instructions, 'verte (cito/folium)', 'tourne' (f. 26v - only instance of French in the manuscript), 'duo', 'residuum', 'canon', canon instructions, 'secunda pars', composer attributions.
Later changes 'duo' first written in black, then in red over the top,


Level of Decoration very high
Decoration border frequency Border type Folios Size Position Description Discrepancies
rarely decorated 23v-24r, 45v-46r, 57v-58r, 98v, 116v-117r, 151v-152r, 199v-200r, 239v-240r, 271v-272r full borders inner margin, lower margin, outer margin, upper margin Illuminated 23v-24r, 45v-46r, 116v-117r, 271v-272r: foliate and inhabited by birds, insects etc. 57v-58r, 199v-200r, 239v-240r: foliate and inhabited by men holding banners with biblical verses (ff. 57v-58r), texts mentioning Thomas (ff. 239v-240r); 57v has crest with blue shield, erect gold lion, holding branch in its mouth. 98v: foliate and inhabited by man kneeling 151v-152r: foliate and inhabited by birds, insects; includes same crest as f. 57v. Completed after the copying of the notation
rarely historiated [IV]v-1r, 99r, 103v-104r full borders inner margin, lower margin, outer margin, upper margin Illuminated [IV]v-1r: figures from the Liber Generationis (the song copied on this opening) 99r: seven depictions of Jesus (accompanies 'Pater noster') 103v-104r: foliate and inhabited border, with other less usual items e.g. dice, a ladder; 103v also includes image of Mary Magdalene holding the cloth of Jesus's face, and a severed ear; 104r depicts a whipped man tied to a column Completed after the copying of the notation
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
painted initials rarely [IV]v-1r, 23v-24r, 45v-46r, 57v-58r, 98v-99r, 103v-104r, 116v-117r, 151v-152r, 199v-200r, 239v-240r, 271v-272r decorated, historiated, zoomorphic initial Two or three staves tall, at start of each voice part; square or rectangular shape At the start of new masses, accompanied by borders Illuminated [IV]v-1r: two related to the liber generationis; one of the church; one of the wedding of Mary 23v: annunciation of Mary 57v-58r: four nativity scenes 98v-99r: Jesus praying on Mount Gethsemane whilst disciples sleep; crucifixion 103v-104r: four scenes from the Passion of Christ 116v-117r: four depictions of Jesus 151v-152r: Ascension; Monkey riding on an ostrich 199v: Mary, saints and dove 239v-240r: Last supper; three images appearing to depict Dominican friars 271v-272r: Jesus in heaven; miracle of Lazarus; three noblemen pursued by three figures of death; the fires (and sea?) of hell all others zoomorphic or foliate initials, often accompanied by pictures of flowers or, more rarely, jewels (ff. 98v-99r) [IV]v-1r: three staves tall, all others two staves tall
painted initials often decorated, decorated with grotesque heads, zoomorphic initial One stave tall, at start of each voice part At the start of new songs Illuminated, foliate, grotesque or zoomorphic initials on a square/rectangular coloured/illuminated background. Jewels occasionally present: ff. 58v-59r, 120r, 121v. Perhaps completed before the copying of the text/music, as illuminated initials are present on f. 85r where no other copying has taken place. f. 1r: used in addition to larger (3 stave) initials, to give first letter of underlaid text on first opening. ff. 73v-74r: f. 73v has 'residuum', no initials, f. 74r has initials, no 'residuum'. Typically, in the first half of the manuscript the Discantus initial gives the first letter of the underlaid text and all other voices have an initial of their voice part name. Towards the end of the manuscript, all voices tend to have the first underlaid text letter as their initial. There manuscript alters between these two practices, occasionally using both on one opening.
initials planned rarely 45r, 215v-216r Notation indented on one stave, cue letter present. ff. 215v-216r: for tacet voice not provided with notation.
initials planned occasionally 241r-260r, 275r-277v, 286r staves indented, first letter missing, sometimes cue letter present
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
rarely [IV]v, 45v, 52v, 57v, 89v, 125v, 194v, 199v banner [IV]v, 194v, 199v: in upper border/margin 45v, 57v, 89v: between the Discantus and Tenor voices 52v, 125v: lower margin Gold lettering with composer attribution, on a pink (45v, 57v, 194v) or blue ([IV]v, 52v, 89v, 125v, 199v) background. Composer named: [IV]v, 52v: Josquin des Pres 45v, 125v: Johannes Richafort 57v, 89v: Johannes Mouton 194v: Adrian Thibaut alius Picart 199v: Matheus Gascogne