This single sheet of chant contains a series of antiphons—melodies intended to be performed by alternating sections of a choir. These particular antiphons would have been sung during the Catholic mass at Christmas, the Feast of St. Stephen, and Epiphany. The illustration surrounding the elaborate gold leaf decoration of the letter “M” (that begins the word “Magi”) includes a depiction of one of the three kings with dark skin, an illustrative practice that became common across Europe during the 16th century. The coat of arms suggests a link to the Benedictine abbey of St. Aegidius in Braunschweig, Germany. One of several illuminated manuscripts held by the Library’s Music Division, this fragment is of special importance because of the extent and variety of its visual symbolism.
Not currently on view
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