Leaf from a Choir Book
Initial “I” (390 x 285 mm.; initial 135 x 25 mm.)
Northern Italy, 12th century
AN EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY ITALIAN LEAF WITH ELEGANT DECORATION AND MUSICAL NOTATION
This attractive, unusually early leaf presents the music for the First Sunday in August (8th Sunday after Pentecost), a Sunday that has come, in modern-day liturgy, to be known both as Peace Day (and Disarmament Day) and as a day to celebrate the Father of all Mankind. The still-Caroline miniscule writing, the style of the notation, and the geometric decoration of the initial “I” place the leaf securely in the twelfth century. Its elegant appearance relates it to productions in northeastern Italy, near Brescia, and it stands out strikingly from later styles of Choir books with their four-line staves and blocky square notation.