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 Palatino 472

Manuscript type: music treatise(s) with appended monophony and polyphony

RISM siglum: I-Fn 472

DIAMM Source Key: 1416

Folio(s): All folios

Date: Late 15th century, before 1515

Before 1515: date '1515' added in the text by a later hand (f. 26v).

Location of origin: Italy ; Pisa, Italy


1. Produced in Tuscany, perhaps in Pisa: includes a recipe entitled 'Pillole per levare la sciesa delli ochi lequali ordino maestro Loise medico per me in Pisa...' (f. 26v); 2. Biblioteca Palatina in Palazzo Pitti, Florence, founded by Ferdinando III, Duke of Tuscany in 1790: shelfmark 'n[umer]o nuovo 472' (inside front cover); 3. transferred in 1861 to the Biblioteca Magliabechiana, the future Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale.


Gentile 1890, II, 32ff; Becherini 1959, 105ff; Seay 1964, 3-5; Gallo 1966, 86ff; Census-Catalogue 1979-1988, I, 231, IV, 375.


Basis for description: original

Florence, Italy, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, MS Palatino 472, All folios

Physical description

Material: paper

Number of leaves: i + 26 + i

Format: upright

Page dimensions: 310 x 209

Quire structure: Text version

Non-musical texts: Theoretical treatises by John Hothby, maestro di capella of the cathedral of Lucca, including: La Calliopea legale (ff. 1r-8v) and Tractatus quarundam regularum artis musice (ff. 9r-14r), as well as arguments by John Hothby against Bartolomé Ramos de Pareja (ff. 16r-21r); theoretical notes on music (ff. 21r-22r); grammatical notes and diagrams in Latin (ff. 24r-26r) and medical recipes in Italian (f. 26v).

Other devices: Modern pencil foliation, verso top right, 1-26

Page details (zoom):

Preparation and Copying

ff. 15r-15v, 22r-23v


Disposition of Voice Parts Key

Pricking never
Ruled grid always,
Ruled in two columns with interspace of c. 10 mm
Ruling pattern fairly regular
Ruling for both staves and text lines is continuous with average intervals between the lines of 4-5 mm; lines designed as staves are usually retraced in darker brown ink over lighter brown ink of the grid. Staves may take up four to six grid lines according to requirements, resulting in staves of strongly differing heights.
Staves omitted from grid never
Incomplete staves never
Medium and colour of grid Frequency Folios Note
light brown ink always
Colour of staves Frequency Folios Note
dark brown normally
brown sometimes 15r-15v
Ruling medium Frequency Folios Note
straightedge always
Indentation for initials Frequency Folios Note
none always
Extra space between voice parts Frequency Folios Note
none always
Space provided for separate text Frequency Folios Note
no separate text always

Copying of text and music

Language(s) Italian, Latin
Order of Copying music first
Presence/absence of text Voice part Frequency Folios Note
fully texted with one text all voice parts sometimes 15r-15v, 22r-23r
provided with single incipit discantus rarely 15v
fully texted with one or two texts all voice parts sometimes 23r-23v
provided with single incipit all voice parts rarely 23v
Colour(s) of notation light brown dark brown
Colour of notation note light brown (ff. 15r-15v); dark brown (ff. 15v, 22r-23v)
Type(s) of notation full mensural, void mensural
Type of notation note full mensural (f. 15v)
Monophonic notation absent
Level of calligraphy fair
Types of script cursive
Types of script note occasional traces of textura
Level of calligraphy fair
Colour(s) of text brown
Light brown (15r-15v); dark brown (ff. 15v, 22r-23v); light reddish brown (f. 23v).
Multiple texts yes
Text repetitions none
Abbreviations very few
Non underlaid vocal text none
Liminary text rubric: 'In festis maioribus' (f. 15v),


Level of Decoration very poor
Decoration initial type Frequency Folios Initial type(s) Size position Description Discrepancies
penned initials normally plain initials No indentation, placed slightly before stave, slightly larger than underlaid script.