The Spanish Chant Manuscript is one of our oldest digitized books, dating from sometime between 1575 and 1625. Chant manuscripts from Renaissance Spain can be richly illuminated, like this particular one, which features gold leaf and a very ornamented design. At the time, most antiphonaries (or choral books) used a four-line staff for the notation of plainchant, whereas the Spanish Chant Manuscript uses the five-line staff that would become the norm in the 17th Century. This is the first digitized copy of this superb volume of Gregorian chants, written in ecclesiastical Latin and compiled by the Catholic Church in Logroño, Spain.
In page 8 of the volume, displayed here, we can see the stylistic elements of its illuminations and an elegant handwritten script characteristic of this kind of liturgical work. The manuscript can be found in UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections (M2149.L32 S6 1575).