APPENDIX: A Description of Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS II 4147

A full description of this manuscript has not appeared in print up to now: partial descriptions can be found, for example, in RISM B III/6: 125–7; Masai & Wittek 1982: 105; Fétis 1877: 617–8; Seay 1975: i. 11. See also Choron & Fayolle 1810–11, ii. 374-8.

1.   Structure and Foliation
2.   Binding
3.   Dimensions and Ruling
4.   Watermarks and Dating
5.   Script and Decoration
6.   Contents

1.   Structure and Foliation
In its present state, the structure of the manuscript may be described as follows (square brackets [ ] enclosing designations not recorded in the manuscript itself):

[iv + A + i + X] + II + [Y] + IV + 126 + [Z + i + B + iv]

Small roman numerals = new (1970) flyleaves
Large roman numerals = original tabula (index) leaves
Arabic numerals = original text leaves
[A, B] = old, possibly original, plain parchment covers, with paper pastedowns; fol. [A] shows traces of having once borne an escutcheon (c. 40 &times 35 mm.) on the front.
[X, Y, Z] = 16th- or 17th-c. flyleaves (see 4. Watermarks and Dating below); fol. [Z] is a restoration of the original fol. 127, of which only a corner fragment survives in place.

Small pieces torn from fols. 17, 24 and 97 have also been restored, possibly at the same time as fol. [Z].

All traces of the original gathering structure were lost in the 1970 re-binding (see 2. Binding below).

The six tabula leaves between fol. [X] and the main text have been numbered recently in pencil 1–6, but subsequently over-written, also in pencil, IVI (recto, top right). Although numbered in series, the leaves are in fact bound in the wrong order: the numbered fols. IV and V should follow fol. II, making the correct sequence I, II, IV, V, III, VI. A very recent pencilled note to this effect appears at the top of fol. [Y].

The leaf or leaves containing the tabulae for the Expositio manus and Liber de natura et proprietate tonorum (i.e. at the beginning) are missing, as is probably one leaf completing the Complexus effectuum musices at the end of the manuscript. If these mutilations were the result of wear and tear on a manuscript without cover, it might be inferred that the parchment covers [A, B] are later additions, especially since their pastedowns are of a paper similar to fols. [X, Y, Z]. However, the nature of the tear on the original fol. 127 (= [Z]), together with the generally good condition of fols. I and 126v, militate against this. The covers [A] and [B] may therefore be original, even if the pastedowns are not.

2. Binding
The manuscript was completely re-bound in gold-stamped, red leathercloth in 1970, the date and the name G. DUBOIS D'ENGHIEN appearing on the first (new) flyleaf. The original spine and all trace of gathering structure seem to have been removed, and the parchment covers [A, B] (trimmed) are now attached to the new flyleaves with paper stubs. No catchwords or quire signatures are visible on the original leaves, and the Bibliothèque Royale possesses no detailed record of the condition of the manuscript prior to the 1970 restoration. The present binding is very tight and there are no signs of redundant sewing-holes in the gutter; either the original holes have been re-used, or (more likely) they have been cropped in the binding process.

Many leaves, especially those suffering from bad ink corrosion, have been covered with fine gauze for purposes of conservation.

3. Dimensions and Ruling
1970 boards: c. 290 × 200 mm.
Fifteenth-century leaves: c. 281 × 196 mm.

The leaves of the main text and tabulae are ruled (after folding) with feint grey-brown ink in two columns, each 60 mm. wide, the vertical bounding-lines projecting beyond the writing area, often to the edges. Each recto is ruled fairly consistently with the left and centre margins measuring c. 15 mm., and the right margin c. 45 mm. Versos seem to have been ruled from the same pricking (now cropped). The written block contains 40 lines per column, 4–5 mm. apart, and the musical staff lines have been formed simply by over-ruling the text lines in red. Although the 5-lined staff is normal for many of the extended examples of mensural notation, the actual number of lines per staff varies considerably according to the local, contingent conditions of the example concerned, and for reasons of space-saving.

4. Watermarks and Dating
The manuscript is paper, with the exception of the old (original?) plain parchment covers. In the fifteenth-century leaves, three watermarks are to be found:

(a)  Crown with five cusps; central cusp surmounted by an orb; remaining cusps bulbed; cross-band forming crescent with base. Dimensions: c. 25 × 29 mm. Occurrence: first half of manuscript up to fol. 80, except fols. 21, 56, 67, 68 and 78 (some leaves indistinct).

(b)  Hunting horn with cord looped once; bell opening visible; lipped mouthpiece; band around centre of body. Dimensions: c. 25 × 27 mm. Occurrence: second half of manuscript from fol. 82 onward; also fols. 56, 67, 68 and 78.

(c)  Large bird in profile, with wing, three-feathered tail, three-clawed feet and probably one eye visible. Dimensions: c. 58 × 43 mm. Occurrence: once only, on fol. 21 (facing bottom edge).

Comparisons with Briquet's drawings1 yield the following results:

No example occurs in Briquet with the cross-band curving in the correct direction. Three marks are nevertheless very similar:2

4774 Venice 1476. Cross-band curves in opposite direction; outer cusps not bulbed.

4775 Naples 1480; 'variété identique' Naples 1482–4, Palermo 1483, Rome 1485, Florence 1487. No cross-band; outer cusps not bulbed; central cusp slightly different.

4777 Naples 1476, Udine 1488. Cross-band curves in opposite direction; greater lateral compression.

7697 Catania 1478; Naples 1480–4. Virtually identical to mark in Brussels 4147.

7698 Naples 1480; 'variété similaire' Naples 1483–95, Rome 1487, Florence 1498. Slightly less curved than 7697.

12.149    Rome 1484. Very similar to the single example in Brussels 4147.

12.145    Naples 1470–73; Amalfi 1473. Beak and wing slightly different.

12.146    Naples 1475. Beak and wing slightly different.

It should be noted that, of the first two watermarks, the horn provides by far the more consistently clear image; its wire, in contrast to that of the crown, appears to be in a more youthful state, and we may surmise that the paper in Brussels 4147 was made shortly after the mark's introduction. The overall impression gained from these comparisons, especially when collated with the other historical factors surrounding the contents of the manuscript (see Woodley 2007a), suggests a possible provenance of Naples (or perhaps somewhere on a Naples-Rome axis), and a date some time in the very late 1470s or 1480s. A date as late as the 1490s, however, is not impossible, in view of the wording of the explicit to the Liber de natura et proprietate tonorum: see below 6. Contents, and Woodley 2007a: §3.

A fourth watermark appears on the later leaves [X] and [Y]: that of a bird in profile (facing right) on three mounds, the whole enclosed in a circle (diameter 43 mm.) surmounted by the letter F. The nearest mark in Briquet is 12.250 (Rome, 1566–75), which is very similar, but lacking the letter F. Other similar marks in Briquet suggest that these leaves, and probably therefore also fol. [Y], were added in the late 16th or early 17th century, probably in Italy, but with a slight possibility of Switzerland, Austria or south-east France (cf. Briquet 12.248 and 12.251). In turn, the presence of these leaves leads us to infer that the manuscript underwent a certain amount of restoration work in this period, presumably having already lost the small number of folios from both front and back (see 1. Structure and Foliation above and 6. Contents below). It was probably during this restoration that the tabula leaves were re-bound incorrectly, and perhaps the plain parchment covers added, if they were not there already.

5. Script and Decoration
The Bibliothèque Royale card catalogue contains two entries pertaining to the manuscript, describing the principal hand variously as 'Gothique bâtarde' and 'Gothique courante'. The overall aspect of the script is of a semi-formal, semi-cursive book hand, compatible in dating with the watermark and other historical evidence as from the second half of the 15th century, and probably Franco-Netherlandish in origin, though showing traces of influence from Italian humanistic habits in some alternative letter forms, as well as treatment of juncture, ligature and punctuation (the latter commonly including semilunar parentheses). The musical examples are written by the main scribe, and suggest a strong, confident fluency with the intricacies of mensural notation. (See Woodley 2007a, Plates 1, 3 and 4 for examples of both text and music.)

The letter forms of the original marginalia (all in the main hand, and largely concerned with the repetition of auctores, etc. cited in the text) are of approximately the same size and formality as the principal texts until near the end of the Liber de arte contrapuncti (see 6. Contents below), at which point they become smaller and more cursive. This change is gradual, but occurs over a relatively small number of leaves; the most probable explanation is that the scribe filled in the marginalia only after the whole of the main text had been completed, becoming fatigued and less concerned with homogeneity of appearance as the end of his task approached.

The black ink used for the texts is corrosive, and where deposited in large quantities (e.g. oblique ligatures in coloration within the music examples) has eaten through the paper.

(a)  Red ink: Chapter headings and numbers; incipits; some initials; occasionally text; paraphs; marginalia; text underlining; musical staff-lines; parts of 'double bars' in music examples; puncti in some closed capitals; miscellaneous decorative splashes in initials and line-fillers.

(b)  Blue ink: Lettering and cuff of Guidonian hand (fol. 1v); very occasionally text (fol. 28); some initials and paraphs up to fol. 64v, but then discontinued. Many of the blank initials in the manuscript were probably destined to be coloured blue: they are rare before fol. 64v but extremely common thereafter. The reason for the incomplete state of the decoration is not clear.

The hair-line shading of the Guidonian hand (fol. 1v) is carefully executed in a light brown or flesh-coloured ink, applied with pen.

Aside from the non-fifteenth-century notes added to manuscript as described below, there are a few miscellaneous comments, minor corrections and scribbles added, mainly in nineteenth-century hands and presumably related to the manuscript's ownership in this century, as described in Woodley 2007a.

6. Contents
For foliation system, see above 1. Structure and Foliation. The italicized letters a and b refer to left and right columns of the two-column page layout used for the main texts.

Old but not original title-page (seventeenth- or eighteenth-century hand?):
  'Joanni Tinctoris | De Musica | MS'
Note from Fayolle recording transfer of ownership of manuscript to Perne (see Woodley 2007a for context, and ibid., Plate 5):
  'Je soussigné reconnais avoir cédé à Monsieur Perne | en toute propriété le présent manuscrit, ainsi que | la copie qui m'appartenait. | à Paris, ce 14 Mars 1817 | Fayolle'.
Tabula tractatus de notis et pausis feliciter incipit.
Tabula tractatus de regulari valore notarum feliciter incipit.
Tabula libri imperfectionum musicalium notarum [sic] incipit.
Tabula tractatus alterationum incipit.
Tabula scripti super punctis musicalibus incipit.
Tabula capitulorum hoc in libro de arte contrapuncti contentorum.
Capitula primi libri.
blank, except for recent pencilled note in French, explaining the necessary re-ordering of the tabula leaves: see above 1. Structure and Foliation.
Index for Liber de arte contrapuncti continued: Book III, Chapters 3–9.
Tabula rubricarum in hoc proportionali musices contentorum.
Rubrice primi libri.
Rubrice secundi libri.
Rubrice tercii libri (Book III, Chapters 1–2).
Index for Liber de arte contrapuncti continued.]
id., Book I, Chapters 2–19.
Capitula secundi libri (Book II complete).
id., Book III, Chapters 1–2.
Index for Proportionale musices continued: Book III, Chapters 3–8.
Tabula diffinitorii musice incipit.
Tabula complexus effectuum musices incipit.
Expositio manus secundum magistrum Iohannem tinctoris in legibus licentiatum ac regis sicilie capellanum. Prologus.
Liber de natura et proprietate tonorum a magistro Ioanne tinctoris legum artiumque professore compositus feliciter incipit. Prologus.
Explicit liber de natura et proprietate tonorum a magistro Ioanne tinctoris ut predictum est compositus, quem quom capellanus regius esset neapolis incepit et complevit. Anno 1476 die 6 novembris. Quoquidem anno 15 novembris diva Beatrix aragonia ungarorum regina coronata fuit.
Tractatus de notis et pausis editus a magistro iohanne tinctoris in legibus licentiato Regisque sicilie capellano. Prologus.
id., Book I.
id., Book II.
Tractatus de regulari valore notarum editus a magistro Iohanne tinctoris in legibus licentiato Regisque sicilie capellano. Prologus.
Liber imperfectionum notarum musicalium Editus a magistro Iohanni [sic] Tinctoris in legibus licentiato regisque magne sicilie Capellano. Prologus.
id., Book I.
id., Book II.
Tractatus alterationum editus a magistro iohanne tinctoris in legibus licentiato regisque magne sicilie capellano. Prologus.
Scriptum magistri Iohannis tinctoris in legibus licentiati regisque magne sicilie capellani super punctis musicalibus feliciter incipit. Prologus.
Liber de arte contrapuncti a magistro iohanne tinctoris iurisconsulto ac musico serenissimique regis sicilie capellano compositus feliciter incipit. Prologus.
id., Book I.
id., Book II.
Jotting in top margin, partially cropped and very difficult to decipher, but conceivably referring to a previous, Italian owner:
  'Io C. Gio: Antonio Marchione [?] sono test [?] | ut hic patet | 1688'
  The hand is consistent with the assumption that the figures refer to the date of writing. On several other leaves of the manuscript (e.g. fols. IIv, IV, IVv, 7v, 18, 68v and 123v) are alphabetical pen-trials which may be in the same hand.3
id., Book III.
Liber tertius et ultimus de arte contrapuncti feliciter explicit. Quem totum magister ioannes tinctoris (ut prefertur) iurisconsultus atque musicus illustrissimi regis sicilie capellanus neapoli incepit absolvitque. Anno domini 1477o mensis octobris die undecima. Deum orate pro eo.
Proportionale musices editum a magistro Ioanne tinctoris in legibus licentiato serenissimique principis ferdinandi regis sicilie iherusalem et ungarie capellani feliciter incipit. Prohemium.
id., Book I.
id., Book II.
id., Book III.
Iohannis tinctoris ad illustrissimam reginam et divam dominam beatricem de aragonia diffinitorium musice feliciter incipit. Prologus.
Complexus effectuum musices editus a magistro Iohanne tinctoris in legibus licentiato regisque sicilie capellano. Prologus.
Last complete leaf, ending:
Super quo rhetor ( = Chapter 9).
[127] = [Z] 
Bottom left corner stub only. Fragmentary final 16 lines of left column, ending:
ad vim pudice d[omui] ( = Chapter 12).
[127]v = [Z]v 
Equivalent verso corner stub. Fragmentary final 16 lines of right column, ending:
gloria ceteris prestat ( = Chapter 16).