Gospel lectionary with ekphonetic notation

Description

This fine 10th-century Gospel lectionary contains extensive decoration. Along with four full-page portraits of the evangelists, large decorated headpieces and many initials can be found throughout the manuscript. As is common with early lectionaries, it contains ekphonetic notation, signs in red ink indicating to the chanter where to pause and where to change pitch.

The manuscript dates from the end of the 10th century, and likely originated either in Cappadocia or southern Italy. It was probably acquired in 1626 by agents working for Thomas Howard (1585–1646), 2nd earl of Arundel, 4th earl of Surrey, and 1st earl of Norfolk. The Arundel collection was presented to the Royal Society in 1667, and was purchased by the British Museum in 1831.

Full title:
Gospel lectionary with ekphonetic notation
Created:
10th century
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Greek
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Arundel MS 547

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Byzantine music and musical manuscripts

Article by:
Nicolas Bell
Themes:
The makers of Greek manuscripts, Religion

Music has played a central role in Greek Orthodox services for centuries. Nicolas Bell describes the manuscript evidence for this music in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine eras.