PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Royal Appendix 45-48

Manuscript type: partbooks (complete set)

RISM siglum: GB-Lbl Royal App. 45-48

DIAMM Source Key: 2104

Folio(s): Organ partbook (App. 48), all folios

Date: c. 1530

Produced c. 1525 according to Baillie 1960; superseded by dating to c. 1530 in Milsom 1985.

Location of origin: London, Great Britain


1) Made perhaps as a gift from the composer Nicholas Ludford (b. c. 1485, d. 1557) for Henry VIII (b. 1491, d. 1547), King of England and Ireland, and his wife Catherine of Aragon (b. 1485, d. 1536) (married between 1509-1533), their coats of arms and badges stamped on the cover. 2) Included in the inventory of books in the Upper Library at Westminster in 1542 as 'Bookes of priksong masses foure' (i.e. Royal Appendix MSS 45-48) and inscribed with the Westminster library inventory number 'no. 99' (f. 1r). 3) presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal library.


Person: Ludford, Nicholas
Person type: scribe
Location of origin: London, Great Britain
Note: Perhaps copied by the composer Nicholas Ludford, since c. 1517 member of the Free Royal Chapel of St. Stephen, Westminster, in 1527 appointed verger and organist.


Warner 1918–19, 68-9; Warner/Gilson 1921, II, 393-394; MGG8, 1177; Hughes 1953, I, 212, 260; Baillie 1958; Oldham 1958, HE. 3-4; Bergsagel 1960, 117-30; Hughes/Abraham 1960, 335-337; Baillie 1960, 178, 184; Bergsagel 1962, 35-55; Benham 1977, 24, 127-9, Plate 4; Milsom 1985, 367-368; Carley 2000, H2.55.

Basis for description: original

London, Great Britain, British Library, MS Royal Appendix 45-48, Organ partbook (App. 48), all folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: ii + 27 + iii

Format: oblong

Page dimensions: 140 x 190

Quire structure: Text version

Other devices: 1. Modern foliation in right upper corners.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid normally
Ruling pattern highly regular
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
hard point normally For text lines in addition to printed staves. Visible especially on verso.
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
printed staves always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
double always No indentation provided for initials in the original layout, but double indentation created by pasting initials on slips of paper over printed staves.
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid occasionally 13r, 24v, 27v
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always

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 tenor secundus always
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation chant (square), void mensural
Type of notation folios 1r-2r; 3v-2r; 4r-5r; 6r-7v; 9r-11r; 12v-14r; 15v-16v; 18r-19v; 21r-22v; 23v-24v
Type of notation note Alternatim setting of polyphonic music in void mensural notation and plainsong in square notation
Monophonic notation present
2v-3r; 2v-4r; 5v-6r; 8r-8v; 11r-12v; 14r-15r; 16v-18r; 19v-21r; 22v-23v; 25r-27v
Level of calligraphy fair
Types of script cursive
Level of calligraphy fair
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations fairly many
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text Headers relating to masses for each day of the week: 'dominica' (ff. 1r-6r); 'feria ii' (ff. 6v-9v); 'feria iii' (ff. 10r-13r); 'feria iv' (ff. 14r-15r); 'feria v' (ff. 15v-19r); 'feria vi' (ff. 19r-21r); 'Sabato' (ff. 21r-24v). Performance instructions: 'ofertorium' (ff. 5v, 25r); 'comunio' (ff. 6r, 25v, 26v, 27r); 'versus' (vritten on the staves) (ff. 8r, 11r, 6v, 19v); 'offertorium ut supra in dominica et comunio' (ff. 9v, 13v, 19r, 21r); 'in tempore paschalis comunio' (f. 25v); 'In tempore nativitatis domini offertorium' (f. 27r).


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials sometimes 6v, 14r plain initials Two staves high, start of Kyrie. Initials in black ink
penned initials normally 1r, 10r, 15v, 19r, 21r decorated Two staves high, start of Mass. Outlined initials in black ink imitating decoration of printed books.