PRoMs - The Production and Reading of Music Sources

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

Manuscript: Paris, France, Bibliothèque Nationale, nouvelles acquisitions françaises MS 4379

Manuscript type: choirbook

RISM siglum: F-Pn

DIAMM Source Key: 719

Basis for description: original

Paris, France, Bibliothèque Nationale, nouvelles acquisitions françaises MS 4379


1. Fernando Colón (Ferdinand Columbus) (b. 1488, d. 1539), bibliographer and cosmographer, son of Christopher Columbus, purchased by him in Rome in 1515 when it formed a single manuscript with Seville, Biblioteca Colombina, Ms. C 5-1-43: listed as no. 2526 in the surviving catalogue, 'Registrum B' of Colón's books (Parts II-IV also possibly owned by Colón); 2. bequeathed by Colón with his entire library, the so-called 'Fernandina' or 'Colombina', to his nephew Luis; 3. Biblioteca Colombina passed in 1544, to the Convent of St. Paul in Seville and in 1552 to the chapter of Seville Cathedral: included in the 1684 catalogue of the library by Juan de Loaysa with a mention of existing 181 leaves; 4. Part I of the present manuscript (and probably Parts II-IV) removed from Colombina in 1884, and taken to Paris; all four items acquired by Bibliothèque Nationale in 1885, and rebound in the present arrangement.


c. 1885,
green wood over pasteboard
Decoration: Title 'CHANSONS A TROIS VOIX' stamped in gold on spine
no edges
Endpapers: marbled


The manuscript is composed of four independant parts of different date and origin: Part I (ff. 1-42) includes leaves removed from a chansonnier now in Seville, Biblioteca Colombina, Ms. C 5-1-43 (SevC 5-1-43); Part II (ff. 43-60) is an early 15th century Italian music manuscript; Part III (ff. 61-68) is a music manuscript copied c. 1433, probably in Venice; Part IV (ff. 69-92) is a late 15th-century chansonnier copied in Spain or Italy. Only Parts I and IV are described in detail here.