Manuscript Hufnagel neumes notation. c.1575

  • 1 Units in Stock

 Ask a Question 


Add to Cart:

                              Manuscript Liturgical chant leaf, c. 1575

                    “Christ ascending on high, Hath led captivity captive.”


Recto: Eight lines of music written on laid rag paper in “Hufnagel” neumes on red-ruled four-line staves with a key signature. Rubrics on red.  The accompanying text is written in Latin in a gothic rotunda bookhand.  Two large illuminated initials “A” in black and two one-line initials in red.


Verso:  As Recto


Origin:  Southern Germany


Date:  c. 1575


Content:  The Latin text, beginning with the first large ‘A’ reads:  Ascendens Christus in altum captivam duxit captivitatem.  Ascendens in altum alleluia captivam duxit captivitatem.  (Christ ascending on high,  hath led captivity captive. He ascends on high, alleluia, he hath led captivity captive.


Condition:  The leaf is in very good condition.  It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 385x255 mm. Text and music area : approx.  330x220 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that packing and postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia: $27.50.  Overseas: ask for quote. 


Notes:  A "neume" is the basic element of Western and Eastern systems of musical notation prior to the invention of five-line staff notation.

The earliest neumes were inflective marks (chironomic neumes) which indicated the general shape but not necessarily the exact notes or rhythms to be sung. Later developments included the use of heightened neumes which showed the relative pitches between neumes, and the creation of a four-line musical staff that identified particular pitches.  By the 11th century, chironomic neumes had evolved into square notation and by the 13th century, the adoption of square neumes had taken hold everywhere in Europe except Germany. There, scribes developed a special type of notation called Gothic neumes or, more commonly, "Hufnagel" neumes, the name deriving from the German word for horsehoe nails, which the notes resemble. Hufnagel neumes continued to be used until the late 16th century.


Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) set these words to music - a motet for 5 voices. A fine performance by the group Gradualia can be found on youtube: https:/


Item No:  MMU049

Pay by

Solution Graphics


Comodo Security

Follow us ...




Your IP Address is:
Copyright © 2021 Littera Scripta. Powered by Zen Cart