TEXT FROM THE NINTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

(Northern France[?], ca. 1100). 298 x 248 mm. (11 3/4 x 9 3/4"). Double column, 30 lines, in an upright Caroline minuscule.

Rubrics in red, six two-line rustic initials in red; small, primitive neumes written above 10 lines of text. Recovered from a binding and as a result noticeably wrinkled and with about a third of the text area darkened (perhaps two dozen words difficult--though not impossible--to read), top edge slightly ragged with loss of what seems to be contemporaneous annotation, other small imperfections, but the text of the leaf apparently complete, and in general a satisfactory and certainly useful specimen of a very early musical leaf.

The text here is distinguished by a pronounced sloping (or "fishtails") at the top of ascenders and by the presence of an early form of musical notation, or neumes. The neumes here are described as "in campo aperto," which means literally "in an open field," because they and they alone occupy the space (or "field") above the text. These are diastematic neumes, the second generation in musical notation (following adiastematic neumes), meaning that they reflect changes in pitch by being placed in a higher or lower vertical position above the text, though still standing alone, without horizontal lines that were added later and that evolved into the modern staff notation. Diastematic neumes appeared in at least a tentative form in the late 10th century. The musical notation and the scribal hand here are very similar to Corbin's II, 23-25, which is Ms. 404 at the Bibliothèque Mazarine, an early 12th century Missal done in Bayeux. The text here includes the Gospel of Luke 16:1-9, the parable of the unjust steward.
(ST12083h)

Keywords: music, neumes, lectionary