Valuable Manuscript Parchment of Medieval Music Discovered in Italy

The precious document was found during the work to restore the volume of Giovanni De Deis, In Ecclesia Mediolanensi (Milan, Melchiorre Malatesta, 1628), as part of a project funded by MiBACT.

Referring to the event, Minister Alberto Bonisoli said the finding confirms the importance of the work of protecting and researching the country’s book heritage, in particular the collaboration with the university world and its library system.

For the director general of the ministry’s Libraries and Cultural Institutes, Paola Passarelli, the discovery is the fruit of different synergies capable of using the instruments of the present to find the words and, in this case, the notes of the past.

The peculiarity of the document is it is a whole sheet of paper that is still very legible, although it was smeared with animal glue to adhere to the cardboard, MiBACT’s note indicates, according to which the French musicologist Dominique Gatté was contacted for the first verifications, and confirmed that it is a page from an antiphonarium.

The French specialist in medieval music considered that the fragment found in a breviary in which the sung parts of the liturgy were registered is possibly one of the oldest available today.

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