PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Bologna, Italy, Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna, MS Q 19

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: I-Bc 19

DIAMM Source Key: 1390

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c. 1518

Completed 1518 (inscription on f. 1v: '1518 adi. 10. de zugno'. Made in Mantua (according to Heyink 1994) or Padua (according to Nosow 1991). The French origin posited in Lowinsky 1968 is now discredited.

Location of origin: Italy (North) ; Mantua, Italy ; Padua, Italy


Later owned by the Rusconi family in Bologna; acquired in 1864 by Gaetano Gaspari for the library of the Liceo Musicale.


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe
Note: All by same scribe including additions


Owens 1988, Nosow 1991, Heyink 1994

Basis for description: original

Bologna, Italy, Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna, MS Q 19, All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: i + vi + 202 + ii

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 293 x 212

Quire structure: Text version

Title page / Frontispiece: Emblem with inscription 'D P' and a silhouette of a stag (see [[Lowinsky 1968]] and [[Heyink 1994]])

Index / Table of Contents: ff. [4]v-[6]r: alphabetical index, not including later additions (by main scribe)

Other devices: Original foliation (by main scribe) brown ink top right, 1-202

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid always,
single line to left and right, no lines for text
Ruling pattern highly regular
very even and parallel, some variance in distance between staves
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
hard point or lead point always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
light brown always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
double rastrum always double rastrum 12.5/13.5 mm, distance 13 mm
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
none always no indented staves, music sometimes indented over 1 stave to accommodate initials or voice designations, variously
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
left between voice parts as part of grid often
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
notation and staves extended into margin occasionally
made for complete additional staves rarely 39v-40r, 196v-197r

Copying of text and music

Language(s) French, Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text all voice parts normally
provided with single incipit all voice parts occasionally
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note teardrop shape, slightly dented on the right, straight and relatively short stems
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy fair
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
signes-de-renvoi rarely
Line fillers Folios Note
occasionally tapered lines after final barline
Later changes Folios
ff. [3]v-[4]r, 203r-v: Additions on hand-drawn staves, very irregular, 9+9 and 10+8 pentagrams. Notation (also on f. 202v) basically the same, but sloppier, more irregular
Types of script cursive (italic)
Level of calligraphy fair
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions fairly many
Abbreviations fairly many
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text Composer ascriptions throughout on top verso where pieces begin, same hand as text incipits. Occasional canon instructions, 'residuum' notes, also same hand. Tacet instructions, some fanciful.


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration miniature frequency Folios Size position Description Discrepancies
rarely 23v pasted in 'I' initial with male head, very finely executed, with 3-line border, similar in style to f. 32v
Decoration border frequency Border type Folios Size Position Description Discrepancies
rarely None 32v partial borders: one-sided outer margin pasted in; 3 lines, with small "S" in middle (for "Sufficiebat"), similar style to f. 22v
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
painted initials rarely 22v decorated pasted in 'S', one line, floral motives in red and green, filled with blue on gold background
penned initials always calligraphic , plain initials simple capital letters, sometimes slightly embellished, either in indent left for larger initial or directly before verbal text below the stave
initials planned always The larger initials which were apparently planned (especially in the first sections of the book) were never executed. It is doubtful that it was planned to paste in initials on a grand scale (as on 22v, 23v, 32v); this appears more like an isolated afterthought. There are no guide letters. The simple capitals were (judging from their position) entered by the scribe after the rest of the verbal text when it became clear that neither he nor anybody else was going to execute the more elaborate penned or painted initials.