PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Bologna, Italy, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS 2573 (2231)

Manuscript type: music treatise(s) containing polyphony

RISM siglum: I-Bu 2573

DIAMM Source Key: 240

Folio(s): All folios

Date: 1490s

See Ronald Woodley in

Location of origin: Naples, Italy


'The function and destination of the manuscript is still problematical, but the presence of Tinctoris's motet Virgo dei throno digna at the head of the codex may suggest a connection with Beatrice, perhaps a gift to celebrate or anticipate her eventual return to Naples from Hungary in 1500. It passed subsequently into the monastery of San Salvatore in Bologna, whence it was confiscated in 1796 by the French revolutionary armies in the course of their Italian campaign. This seizure resulted in the deposit of the manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, until its return on 28 October 1815 to Bologna, this time to the Biblioteca Universitaria, its present home.' (Ronald Woodley, 'Principal manuscript sources: a brief sketch', in


Person: Crispus, Wenceslaus
Person type: scribe
Location of origin: Bohemia
Note: See Ronald Woodley in

Basis for description: high-quality image

Bologna, Italy, Biblioteca Universitaria, MS 2573 (2231), All folios

Physical description

Material: parchment

Number of leaves: i + 190 + i

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 238 x 168

Index / Table of Contents: 2v: list of treatises contained in the volume

Non-musical texts: The volume is dedicated to Tinctoris' music theory treatises; the description here only relates to the fully formed polyphonic pieces within these treatises.

Other devices: Original or early foliation ink top right, 1-190

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

1v-2r, 98v-99r, 111r, 133r, 141r, 142v-149v, 150v-152v, 153v-156v, 157v-158r, 159v, 160v-188r


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking none visible
Ruled grid always,
Single line to left and right, text lines at the same distance as the stavelines (whch are drawn on top of the text lines): essentially a consistent grid of lines 5 mm apart. Ususally pentagrams, but sometimes hexagrams (e.g. f. 141v) or depending on the range of the music very rarely even hexa- and heptagrams (e.g. f. 143v)
Ruling pattern highly regular
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves sometimes,
Integrated into text; music can begin or end in the middle of a line depending on the amount of music or text
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
very light ink always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
red always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
none always regular indentations for decorated initials in verbal text, but not for music (initials, where present, are placed below the stave with the text).
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
none always
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely 145r, 154v, 156r

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 sometimes
untexted all voice parts often
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note rhomboid-shaped notation
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy very high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signes-de-renvoi occasionally
Types of script textura
Level of calligraphy very high
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations some
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text Voice designations, always The text of the treatise almost invariably explains precisely the purpose of the pieces of music which are often introduced with the explicit 'ut hic patet' ('as is obvious here') or suchlike.


Level of Decoration fair
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
initials planned rarely 3r Opening initial of the entire book not executed
penned initials often calligraphic with decoration, flourished Every section of every treatise is introduced by a four-line initial alternating in blue and black, with rich penwork alternating in red and purple scrolling along the left-hand margin of the entire page.
painted initials occasionally decorated at the beginning of every treatise
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
often diagrams diagrams