Antiphon for the Annunciation to the Shepherds. Gregorian Chant leaf, c.1600, Spain.

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“Salvator mundi",  the Saviour of the World."

Verso:  7 lines of music notation in square and diamond shaped neumes and text in Latin written in a gothic bookhand on parchment. Five line staves with a key signature.  Rubrics in red.  Two large decorative initials, ‘A’ in red with internal foliate designs and an elaborate 'F' in red outlined in black..  Hair follicles of the animal used for the parchment are clearly visible in the top and bottom margins.

Recto:  As Verso, with a large initial ‘G’ in  red outlined in black.  Paginated 3 in a later hand.

Origin:  Spain.

Date:   c.1600.

Content:  The initial ‘A’ on Verso begins the antiphon: 

Angelus [Domini] ad pastores ait: annuntio vobis gaudium magnum, quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator mundi. Alleluia.

(The angel [of the lord] said to the shepherds: I bring you good tiding of great joy, for this day is born to you the Saviour of the world. Alleluia.)

The red initial 'F' then begins the antiphon:

Facta est cum angelo multitudo caelestis exercitus laudantium Deum et dicentium: Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax, hominibus bonae voluntatis. Alleluia.

There was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: Glory be to God on high, and in earth peace, goodwill to all men. Alleluia.

Condition:  The leaf is in excellent condition. Verso is in near fine condition with just the expected staining from page turning .  Recto has some very slight black ink loss in the neumes.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Notes:  An antiphon (Greek ἀντίφωνον, ἀντί "opposite" and φωνή "voice") in Christian music and ritual is a a short sentence sung by a choir or congregation before or after a psalm or canticle.  It is usually in the form of a Gregorian chant.  The words of the antiphons are related to the theme of the feast day or celebration and most frequently have something in common with the liturgical readings of the Mass.

Antiphonal music is music that is performed by two semi-independent choirs in interaction, often singing alternate musical phrases.  

The parent book of this leaf was an Antiphonal, a very large book that was placed on a lectern so that all members of the choir could see it, and sing from it.

Saint Gregory I, known as Gregory the Great, (born c. 540, Rome—died March 12, 604, Rome), Pope (590–604)  was elected pope in 590.

His extensive re-codification of the liturgy and plainchant led to his name being given to Gregorian chant.  According to legend, Gregorian chant was the most sacred and authentic form of liturgical chant as it was believed to have been sung to Gregory  by the Holy Spirit who appeared to him in the form of a white dove.  The dove is usually depicted hovering close to his ear while singing its sacred melodies as Gregory simultaneously writes them down. 

As described in verses 8–20 of the second chapter of the Gospel of Luke, shepherds were tending their flocks at night in the countryside near Bethlehem, when they were terrified by the appearance of an angel. The angel announces that he has a message of good news for all people, namely that "Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

The Adoration of the Shepherds was a popular subject for altarpieces and other devotional paintings in both the Northern and the Italian schools in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. In many of these paintings the shepherds bring humble gifts, symbolic counterparts of the magnificent ones brought by the Magi; the most frequent gift being a lamb with tied feet, perhaps symbolising Christ’s sacrifice.  

Size:  Leaf: approx. 580x410 mm.  Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.  This very large leaf  will be shipped carefully rolled in a tube.

Item No:  MMU069

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