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Lot 0033
*** Please note, the description of this lot has changed ***

Byzantine music.- [Collection of hymns, with late Byzantine musical notation], decorated manuscript on paper, i + 82 + iii leaves, (lacking some leaves at beginning and possibly others), text block: c. 130 x 85 mm., 22 lines average per page, (11 of text and 11 of musical notation), fol. 75r with two missing lines added by scribe in lower margin, written in a single hand in black ink with red marking and modal signatures, headings in red, numerous decorated initials in red, some with penwork extension or embellished with undulating wings, handsome head-pieces with intertwined ribbons in red and black, text overall clean and legible, stitching weak, numerous leaves loose, some marginal browning and spotting; some stains, especially to outer blank margin of last leaves, a few traces of mould at lower margin, some leaves soiled in gutter, contemporary limp brown leather over pasteboards, rather worn, front hinge broken with upper cover detaching from volume, small 4to (168 x 118mm.), Greece, [after 1814].

*** A fine, unsophisticated, albeit incomplete, sticherarion, i.e. a post-Byzantine manuscript used in the Greek Church for morning and evening services, and containing the musical setting of stichera or verses from texts or hymns arranged in the cycle of the liturgical Orthodox calendar. In this manuscript the musical notation is written above the text, and provides a good example of the elaborate late Byzantine Kalophonis style. The manuscript contains at least eight different texts: fols. 1r-8 (text is lacking the opening leaves); 9r-34v (ἦχος ... 'Κύριε ἐκέκραξα'); 34v-47v: (Ἀρχη τοῦ πλαγίου ἦχος πλ α ΠΑ); 47v-57r (Ἀρχη τοῦ πλαγίου ἦχος, πλ β ΠΑ); 57r-65r (Ἀρχη τοῦ βαρέος ἦχου, 'Κύριε ἐκέκραξα'); 65v-73r (Ἀρχη τοῦ πλαγίου πλ δ, 'Κύριε ἐκέκραξα'); 73r-77r (ἦχος... 'Εισ το o o o ρος τοις'); 77r-82v (Ἀρχη τοῦ τετάρτου ἦχου, 'Κύριε ἐκέκραξα'). The composers' names are not given, but some of these chants can possibly be ascribed to the renowned 18th-century composer and chanter Peter the Peloponnesian.

The script of the codex does not indicate its precise origin, and it was possibly used (in a Greek monastery?) for learning the archaic style of singing, as the late 19th-century drawings in black and violet ink on the front endpaper, displaying two scales of eight modes, supplemented with brief explanations, seem to attest. Furthermore, on fol. 9r one of the 19th-century owners of the volume has added, in violet ink, a verse addition. The manuscript therefore shows the lasting interest in earlier notation and older melodies in spite of the introduction in 1814 of the much simplified notation by Bishop Chrisanthos of Madytos.

Provenance: late 19th-century ownership inscriptions in violet ink on the endpapers, including 'Stylienos Capietekis', and the mention, in black ink, of a monastery (Hagios [?]), not entirely legible. Several 19th-century annotations in black ink on the endpapers and the rear pastedown, variously dated from 1839 to 1881. On the recto of the last rear endpaper a pencilled drawing depicting Christ Blessing; other rough ink drawings on the rear endpapers.

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Byzantine music.- Collection of hymns

Estimate £600 - £800Sep 27, 2018
Auction Curated By:
Rupert Powell
International Head of Books and Works on Paper
Max Hasler
Modern First Editions and 20th Century Literature
220 Queenstown Road
London, SW8 4LP
United Kingdom
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