PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Brussels, Belgium, Bibliothèque Royal Albert 1er/Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, MS II.270

Manuscript type: composite manuscript with interpolated polyphony

RISM siglum: B-Br II.270

DIAMM Source Key: 1635

Folio(s): 121-144

Date: c. 1500

(on basis of notation and repertory connections)

Location of origin: Netherlands


The manuscript was owned by Jacob Koning of Amsterdam, J. J. Van Voorst, A. D. Schinkel, and Coussemaker before being acquired by the Bibliothèque Royale upon Coussemaker's death.

Basis for description: printed facsimile

Brussels, Belgium, Bibliothèque Royal Albert 1er/Koninklijke Bibliotheek Albert I, MS II.270, 121-144

Physical description

Material: parchment and paper (mixed)

Number of leaves: 174

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 137 x 100

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking none visible
Ruled grid normally,
single line to left and right, no lines for text
Ruling pattern fairly regular
up to 6 very regular pentagrams, depending on amount of music and text to be copied. Pages organised very efficiently to accommodate the combination of music and text
Staves omitted from grid often
Incomplete staves sometimes,
for added text strophes
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
hard point or lead point always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
black always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
none always Initials with text below stave
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
none always
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
provided, in dedicated space normally

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Dutch, Latin
Order of Copying text first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one or two texts all voice parts always
Colour(s) of notation black
Type(s) of notation chant (square), void mensural
Type of notation note void notation slightly angular teardrop shape; chant notation rhomboid shaped, used polyphonically, with two or three adjacent notes indicating longer rhythmical values
Monophonic notation absent
chant notation used polyphonically
Level of calligraphy high
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
repeat signs sometimes
Types of script cursive (bastarda)
Level of calligraphy high
Colour(s) of text black
Multiple texts yes
occasionally two lines of text underlaid for repeated sections
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations many
Non underlaid vocal text additional
added text strophes after music, normally


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials always plain initials with text below staves large plain initials alternating in red and blue