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Noted breviary, f.153v, (218 x 162 mm), 14th century, Alexander Turnbull Library, MSR-06.

This noted breviary was copied in Italy in the second half of the fourteenth century. The music is written on black four-line staves with the line for the note F line ruled in red. The neumes (musical notes) are in black square notation. The decorated letter ‘I’ is a divided initial with the two halves coloured separately in red and blue. The penwork also in red and blue extends from the initial down to the lower margin.


The Breviary contains the text for the Offices, both spoken and sung. Sometimes it includes the musical notation as here. The Offices are the daily devotions at the eight canonical hours of Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers, and Compline.

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Taken on August 27, 2010