Gregorian Chant manuscript leaf containing a portion of the Benedictiones from a Mass choirbook. MEDIEVAL MUSIC - 15th Century - Italian.
Gregorian Chant manuscript leaf containing a portion of the Benedictiones from a Mass choirbook

Gregorian Chant manuscript leaf containing a portion of the Benedictiones from a Mass choirbook

Italy: 15th Century.

1 large leaf. Folio (56 x 38.5 cms; 22 x 15"). Notated on vellum in black ink on 7 red 4-line staves. Decorative initials in blue and red.

The present leaf contains most of the chant setting of the Benedictiones, known in English as the Canticle of Daniel or the Canticle of the Three Young Men (the beginning and ending are missing). The text is based on a deuterocanonical section from the third chapter of the Book of Daniel. Versions of the canticle were used in a variety of liturgical rites in both the Eastern and Western churches and in several different liturgical contexts. The Rule of Saint Benedict assigns the canticle to Sunday Lauds, for example. Exactly when a given setting was chanted can be determined by the particular melody it is set to. The chant on this leaf is a mode 7 melody in which a strophic acclamation (different text on a repeated melody) alternates with the refrain “et laudabilis et gloriosus in saecula.” This is the version of the canticle sung before the Gospel at Mass on Ember Saturday in Advent. The first letter of each verse is highlighted with a puzzle initial, alternating red and blue ink. The canticle is followed by a doxology and rubric at the bottom of the verso, which instructs the cantor to conclude by repeating the first verse.

The assignment of this chant to the middle of Advent is confirmed by the pagination. Foliation consisting of the Roman numeral xii is written in the margin on the verso, while the Arabic numeral 13 was later added to the top right corner of the recto side. Since liturgical books typically start with the first week of Advent, both numbers indicate this leaf was originally found near the beginning of the book exactly where Ember Saturday would fall.

While the basic contour of the melody is common and widespread, the melody found on this leaf contains several particularities not found in any other source currently catalogued in the Cantus Index database. The hand is a southern rotunda script featuring a single form of the letter D – the Uncial shape with a truncated and nearly horizontal shaft – as well as single forms of A, G, and H characteristic of Italian manuscripts.

Text recto:
[Benedictus es domine deus patrum nostrorum et laudabilis et gloriosus in saecula | Et benedictum nomen gloriae tuae quod est sanctum et laudabile et gloriosum in saecula | Benedictus es in templo sancto gloriae tuae et laudabilis et gloriosus in saecula | Benedictus es super] thronum sanctum regni tui R. Et laudabilis [et gloriosus in saecula] | Benedictus es super sceptrum divinitatis tuae R. Et laudabilis [et gloriosus in saecula] | Benedictus es qui sedes super cherubim intuens abyssos R. et laudabilis [et gloriosus in saecula] | Benedictus es qui ambulas super pennas ventorum et super undas maris R. et laudabilis [et gloriosus in saecula] | Benedicant te omnes angeli et

Text verso: sancti tui R. et laudent te et glorificent in saecula | Benedicant te caeli terra mare et omnia quae in eis sunt R. et laudent te [et glorificent in saecula] | Gloria patri et filio et spiritui sancto R. et laudabili [et glorioso in saecula] | Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum R. et laudabili [et glorioso in saecula] | Benedictus [es domine deus patrum nostrorum et laudabilis et gloriosus in saecula]

Some minor soiling and rippling; strip of paper tape to upper edge; verso slightly faded

We would like to thank Br. John Glasenapp OSB for his description of this leaf.

Item #37993

Price: $600.00  other currencies