Bergen University Library, Art and Humanities Library
Bergen University Library
MS 1550, 6
The contents are parts from the Canon missae in the mass, more precisely the prayers Supra que propitio ac sereno vultu respicere digneris and Supplices te rogamus omnipotens deu iube hec perferri, followed by Pater noster with musical notation. Finally there is the prayer Libera nos quesumus domine ab omnibus malis. The prayers are supplied with instructions to the priest, written in red ink, like
“Here the priest shall kneel before the altar”, or “after he has kissed the altar,
he rises, saying:”, and so on, revealing that the fragment comes from a priest’s manual.
Parchment, one cropped bifolium, ca. 32, 5 x 42 cm (leaf size: ca. 32, 5 x 24,5 cm)
Lay-out: Writing space: 21,5 x 17, 5 cm. One column, 11 lines (8 lines when there
is musical notation). There is no visible ruling, but there seem to be some “prickings”
in the form of light brown rectangels, marking the x-height of each line.
Script: A large Gothic textualis formata (x-height: 1,1 cm). This is an example of a textus praescissus, meaning that the minims and the ascenders end flat to the baseline (with no serif
going up to the right). Rubricated. The same scribe has written the main text and
the rubrics (information from Mr. M. Gullick, Oct. 2005). One peculiarity is the tironian
”et”-sign with a hairline-stroke at the beginning. (A similar execution for the “et”-sign,
only uncrossed, occurs in an early 14th century English Psalter, see Derolez 2003,
Musical notation: Square notation on three red lines, with an F-clef.
Initials: Fleuronné: Two large initials have red pen-flourishing to a faded blue letter. There are also
smaller, plain initials, alternating red and blue.
Condition: The fragment is in relatively good condition, although the verso-side is
England, 14th century. (Information given by the palaeographer Michael Gullick at
a an international workshop on manuscript fragments in October 2005.)
The fragment was probably acquired in a book binding, and removed from the binding
during the 1960’s. Unfortunately the records of which book it came from, are now lost.
Along with MS 1550, 7 it was kept together with the other manuscript fragments, but
without being registered in the library’s manuscript catalogue. It received the current
catalogue number (MS 1550, 6) in 2005.
Derolez, A. 2003: The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books From the Twelfth to
the Early Sixteenth Century, Cambridge.
Kolsrud, O. 1962: Manuale Norwegicum, Oslo. (Text of the Canon missae p 117-119)
Kulturhistorisk leksikon for Nordisk middelalder XI, Gyldendal 1966, ”Manuale” p.