P-Cm (Coimbra) Biblioteca Municipal FPM-B50-09


P-Cm FPM-B50-09

Source type
Document type
Main place of use
C. 1500

The recto has a long list of chant incipits and feasts that cannot be fully rendered due to the overall very poor condition of the page. All the efforts were made to index both incipits and feasts to the best possibilities that the current reproduction allows. The 'sequence' field thus does not represent the actual sequence of chants, rather the list of those that could be identified.

Type of script
Type of notation
Description of the notation
Late square notation with Iberian features, on five-line red stave.

Red and black initials; One blue initial decorated with red filigree designs

On bottom margin of verso, stamp (Arquivo Histórico Municipal, Coimbra) and paper sticker ("ROTEIRO" nº 1021 / Real - d'água / Receita e despeza / 1624 /9)
Condition of document

Very poor. Severe trimming accounting for losses on three of the four sides of the page; creases along the center and upper region; marks and severe ink fade on exposed side.

Page layout

c. 415 x c. 280 mm, 1 col. /8 wl (v), c. 340 x c. 250 mm.

The recto includes a rubric apparently requiring the use of the common of confessors for Fernando, a priest (ffernadi confessoris); the position of the commemoration implies a date between 13 and 15 of June; the only saint of that name and category is Fernando (or Fernam) Martins de Bulhões, the secular name of St. Anthony, who spent some time in Santa Cruz de Coimbra before becoming a Franciscan and is commemorated on June 13th, which fits the calendar. The verso has part of the mass for the Vigil of John the Baptist, and apparently two masses for the feast day. The rubric before the decorated 'A' instructs that the first mass is "de luce", at sunrise. The second mass is that "in die", although its rubric (right end of the seventh line) is undecipherable. While the main mass does not pose any particular problem and the choice of chants is wholly regular, an aurora mass for John the Baptist is unusual. It might thus be that the fragment comes from an institution with strong ties to this saint; since the external features of the document are compatible with a local origin, this was perhaps São João das Donas, a feminine convent dependent on Santa Cruz de Coimbra, whose patron was St. John the Baptist.  This accords with the the unusual rubric referred to above, since Dona Constança Sanches (1204-1269), natural daughter of King Sancho I, professed in this convent in 1224 and had an altar and a chapel erected to St. Anthony shortly after his canonization in 1232. She is said to have met him in Coimbra before her profession when he was at Santa Cruz and responded to the name Fernando, leaving a lasting impression on the young Constança; she left provisions to be buried in his chapel (Santa Maria, Chronica, pp. 541-543). This fragment, in its mention of Fernando instead of Antonio, probably replicates an earlier manuscript that preserved the 13th-century local memory of the saint.

CORBIN, Solange, Essai sur la musique réligieuse portugaise au Moyen Age (1100-1385), Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1952

SANTA MARIA, Nicolao de, Chronica da Ordem dos Conegos Regrantes de S. Agostinho: Primeira Parte, Lisboa, Joam da Costa, 1668


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