PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Florence, Italy, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Magliabechi XIX.117

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: I-Fn 117

DIAMM Source Key: 1404

Folio(s): All folios

Date: c. 1505-1515

Written probably in Florence, but primarily by a French scribe, after c. 1508-1511, the date assumed for the composition of Josquin de Prez's 'Plus nulz regret', and before 1520, with numerous concordances datable c. 1515 (Bernstein 1986). A number of scribes made further additions, including Francesco Corteccia (Owens 1997).

Location of origin: Florence, Italy


1. Inscribed: 'D[omi]no Nicc[ol]o d'Alexandro Antonio' (f. 28r) and 'D[omi]no Ant[oni]o di Jaccopo' f. [65]v, 16th century; 2. Biblioteca Medicea Palatina Lotaringia, the collection of Francis I (Francis Stephen, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Holly Roman Emperor (b. 1705, d. 1765), that incorporated earlier Medici collections: its stamp with the arms of Medici-Lorraine (f. 2r); donated in 1771 to the Biblioteca Magliabechiana, the future Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale: label 'Selezione Magliabechiana; with the shelfmark 'Magl. XIX 117' and provenance note 'Provenienza Med. Pal' (inside front cover).


Person: Anonymous, Anonymous
Person type: scribe
Location of origin: France
Note: The earliest layer was copied by a French scribe; subsequent additions by several other scribes, including one (probably also a Frenchman) who added several pieces to I-Fn 107bis (<a href="/bibliography/#entry815" data-tooltip="" class="has-tip tip-top reference" data-placement="top" rel="tooltip" data-original-title="" title="Rifkin, Joshua, 'Scribal Concordances for Some Renaissance Manuscripts in Florentine Libraries', Journal of the American Musicological Society, 26 (1973), 305–26 "><i class="fa fa-book"></i>Rifkin 1973</a>).


Adler 18941970, XXXII, 238; Wolf 1913–19, I, 450; Smijers 1935, 174; Hewitt 1942, 107; Becherini 1959, 51-2; Picker 1965, 140-2, 148-51; Atlas 1971, I, 476-9; Rifkin 1973, 309, 312, 314; Atlas 1975–6, 244f; Census-Catalogue 1979-1988, I, 225f; Bernstein 1986.

Basis for description: original

Florence, Italy, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Magliabechi XIX.117, All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: ii + 64 +ii

Format: oblong

Page dimensions: 162 x 244

Quire structure: Text version

Other devices: 1. Original ink foliation, recto top right, [1]-88 (ff. 28-31, 35-36, 43-44, 47-61, 84, and 89 now missing; ff. 1, 22-23, 25-27, 32-33, 45-46, 62-63, 85, and 88 lack numbers).
2. Two sets of modern pencil foliations, one recto top right, one recto bottom left, both 1-64: in the upper right corner and in the lower left corner, both 1-64.

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

All folios


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking none visible
Ruled grid always
Ruling pattern highly regular
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
brown ink always Vertical bounding lines only.
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
brown always
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
single rastrum always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
single often 1r-3r, 4v-9r, 10v-13r, 14v-17r, 18v-22r, 24v-26r, 29v-35r, 40v-43r, 44v-46r, 48v-58r, 60r, 61v-64r Indentation of music and text over ruled staves; occurs on all or some voice parts--if the latter usually the lower voices.
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
empty ruled staves on grid sometimes
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
not in dedicated space always
Adhoc adaptation Frequency Folios Note
partial additional staves rarely 29r drawn free hand
notation extended into margin rarely 27r-v, 34v, 56r
staves extended into margin rarely 33r
staveline added rarely 1r, 7v, 12v, 15r, 42r, 59v
notation and staves extended into margin sometimes 3r, 7r, 9r, 10r, 13r, 14v, 16r, 24r, 26v, 29r, 31r, 33v, 34r, 42v, 43r, 50r-v, 51v-52r, 53r, 55r, 56r, 57v

Copying of text and music

Language(s) French, Italian, Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one or two texts all voice parts often 1r-13r, 18v-19r, 29v-33r, 34v-35r, 44v-46r, 48v-52r, 55v-58r, 63v-64v
untexted all voice parts sometimes 19v-22r, 23v-26r, 27v-28r, 41v-42r, 46v-48r, 58v-63r
fully texted with one text discantus occasionally 13v-17r, 33v-34r, 42v-43r, 52v-55r
untexted all except discantus occasionally 13v-18r, 35v-36r, 40v-41r, 53v-55r
provided with single incipit discantus rarely 17v-18r, 35v-36r, 40v-41r
partially texted with one text tenor rarely 26v-27r
untexted all except tenor rarely 26v-27r
fully texted with one text bassus rarely 28v-29r
untexted all except bassus rarely 28v-29r
untexted tenor rarely 33v-34r
partially texted with one text bassus rarely 33v-34r
fully texted with one text discantus and tenor rarely 42v-43r, 52v-53r
untexted all except discantus and tenor rarely 52v-53r
partially texted with one text all except discantus and tenor rarely 42v-43r
Colour(s) of notation brown
Type(s) of notation void mensural
Type of notation note rhomboid noteheads; added music in round or teardrop-shaped noteheads
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy high
Level of calligraphy note calligraphy of added music is poor.
Non verbal performance instructions Folios Note
end symbol 1r, 13r, 18v-21r, 25v-26r, 31r, 33r, 48r, 49r, 51r, 52v
repeat signs 17v-18r, 21v, 24v-25r
signa congruentiae 43r
Later changes Folios
Music drafts added on blank staves by Francesco Corteccia, often in score format, often with much correction/barring. 20r, 22v-23r, 29v, 30v, 31v, 32v, 33v, 36r40r, 41v-42r, 44r, 58v-59v, 60v
Types of script cursive (bastarda)
Level of calligraphy fair,
Calligraphy of added pieces is poor.
Colour(s) of text brown
Multiple texts no
Text repetitions fairly few
Abbreviations fairly few
Non underlaid vocal text additional
14r-v, 17r,
added to blank staves/blank space on same opening
Liminary text verte (cito): 8v-9r, 40v, 45v, 58v-59r, 62r composer's name: 17v-19r, 35v, 39v, 59v,
8v-9r, 17v-19r, 35v, 39v, 40v, 45v, 58v-59v, 62r
Later changes non musical texts added to blank spaces,
verso of original front flyleaf, 22r, 28r, recto of original end flyleaf


Level of Decoration poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials often 1r-9r, 10v-13r, 29r-35v, 42v-43r, 44v-46r, 48v-59r calligraphic One stave high, at start of each voice, on or before the stave. f. 5v: head drawn in initial.
initials planned sometimes 14v-17r, 18v-23r, 24v-26r, 40v-42r, 61v-64r Notation indented on one stave, at start of voice part, in all voices or in lower voices.
Other decoration frequency Folios Other decoration type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
rarely 17v-18r littera notabilior Small litterae notabiliores, placed before stave.