Graduals were books containing the music for the Mass. They were often
very large, so that several members of the choir could gather around a
single copy. Since new compositions of plainchant appeared constantly,
old graduals were often scrapped and their parchment recycled when they
became antiquated. The item on display is all that remains of one of these
books. The music on the two pages is discontinuous because four leaves
from the center of the quire have been lost. The lost leaves may have
contained lavish artwork, as graduals often did, and are likely to have
been thrown away after they were mutilated. The exhibit case at the end
of the hall contains examples of artwork removed from graduals.
Gradual. Italy, sixteenth century.
© 2002 Division of Rare & Manuscript
2B Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853
Phone Number: (607) 255-3530. Fax Number: (607) 255-9524
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