P-VV (Vila Viçosa) Biblioteca do Palácio Real A.M. A-003

P-VV A.M. A-003
A.M. A-003
Source type: 
Subcategory of source: 
Document type: 
Main place of use: 
17th century
Type of script: 
Polyphony (16): Antiphons (3), Canticle (1), Credo (1), Hymns (2), Mass (1), Motets (3), Psalms (5). Chant (33): Alleluias (2), Antiphons (22), Communions (2), Gradual (1), Hymns (2), Introits (3), Offertory (1)
70 fols. = 2 front endpapers + 1 non-numbered folio (index and section title) + 63 numbered folios (1 non-numbered folio between fols. 13 and 14) + 1 non-numbered folio + 2 back endpapers. Missing: fols. 15-16. Despite the book’s heterogeneity, the foliation is continuous and was done by the same hand (datable to the 17th century), even though it is absent from some folios. The endpapers are not original (posterior to 1989).
Highly irregular, since the book is made up of several gatherings of different origins, and original collation obscured by subsequent processes of rebinding.
Page layout: 
Choirbook format. 480 × 364 mm
Condition of document: 
Good. The paper shows signs of wear, particularly light damp and grease stains in the bottom fore-edge corners. Small wormholes until fol. [13-bis], at the bottom of the pages, especially near the gutter. Larger and darker damp stains in fols. 19-20. Ink corrosion in fols. 17-20. Fols. 17-18 were reinforced with pasted-on paper sheets; the one over fol. 17r obscures musical items: marginal inscriptions giving tones by hand B partially visible. Throughout the book, smaller glued-on paper patches are visible. The book underwent new rebinding after 1989, to replace the ‘much worn-out’ original cover, mentioned by Alegria and Joaquim (Alegria, Catálogo, 1989, 13; Joaquim, Vinte livros, 1953, 7); during this renewal operation, the bottom fore-edge corners of fols. 51-63 were redone.

• Eagle inscribed in circle, 65 × 58 mm; countermark Flag with letters ‘G B’, 70 × 54 mm (fols. 1-14, 44-50)
The countermark design is rather similar to the one found here, dated 1631: https://www.wasserzeichen-online.de/wzis/detailansicht.php?id=63131. It belongs to a type found in documents of the early 17th century (but there is also an example dated 1505 in the Portuguese archive of Tecnicelpa: http://memoryofpaper.oeaw.ac.at/tecnicelpa/tecnicelpa.php?id=4772).

• Moor’s head in shield, topped by lily, 90 × 37 mm (fols. 18-43)
No matches found for this design.

• Crescent moon facing down (fols. 51-58, 63)
Very common design, used since the 16th century.

• Unidentified figure inscribed in circle (fols. 59-61)

Brown calf leather over boards. The binding was completely redone in renovation posterior to 1989 which replaced the original binding.
Gothic parted/puzzle and pen-flourished red and blue initials inscribed in square frames with blue filigree, on fols. ff. [0]v and 12r. Roman initials in plain square frames, in blue and gold, on fols. 17v-18r, 21v-22r, 24v-25r, 31v-32r, 34v-35r, 38v. Black cadel initials recur throughout the entire book.

‘Ano 1610 feito’ (fol. 51r)


A very heterogenic book, composed of gatherings from various origins, where at least 12 different hands intervened, most of them datable to the 17th century, with some additions probably already from the 18th century. The dating of 1610, found in an inscription on fol. 51r, possibly applies to the copy of the following works (fols. 51v-63r). The index on the folio before fol. 1, with some lacunae, was in all likelihood elaborated by the same hand that foliated the manuscript, datable to the 17th century (except for the last item of the index, added by a later hand, possibly from the 18th century).

Former shelfmark: MJ 9 (marked ‘Livro n.º 9’ on inside front cover)


JOAQUIM, Manuel, Vinte livros de música polifónica do Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa (Lisbon: Fundação da Casa de Bragança, 1953) [= Joaquim, Vinte livros, 1953], pp. 95-103 (Livro n.º 9)

ALEGRIA, José Augusto, Biblioteca do Palácio Real de Vila Viçosa: Catálogo dos Fundos Musicais (Lisbon: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1973) [= Alegria, Catálogo, 1989], pp. 13-14 (A. Livros de música religiosa manuscrita, no. 3)

RYAN, Michael, "Music in the Chapel of the Dukes of Bragança, Vila Viçosa", PhD diss. (University of London, 2001)

Museu-Biblioteca da Casa de Bragança, Vila Viçosa. Catálogo do Arquivo Musical (pdf), Secção A

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