Manuscript Leaf from Antiphonal in Latin
This original vellum manuscript leaf is from a Spanish antiphonal. Antiphonals are service books that contain the sung portions of the cycle of daily devotions performed by members of the clergy and members of religious orders. The large size of both the Latin text and the neumes (musical notation) on this leaf indicates that it would have been performed by a choir. The clef sign locates the note C, and this example is in the Dorian mode, one of 8 church modes, or systems of pitch organization, in common use at that time. The text, used on various apostles' feast days, is taken from Matthew 19.