Gottschalk Antiphoner (fragments) | Cantus Database

Gottschalk Antiphoner (fragments)

Late twelfth-century antiphoner from Lambach Abbey, Austria. Neumatic notation. Text, illuminations, and notation by Gottschalk of Lambach. Monastic cursus. Dismantled in the late 15th century. Fragments dispersed. 30 surviving folios. 33.4 x 24.4 (23.8 x 16.5) cm.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 11-61: Winter Temporale and Sanctorale. 11-12, Fourth Sunday of Advent to Friday of fourth week of Advent; lacuna; 21-22, Stephen and John the Evangelist; lacuna; 32-37, Epiphany to Wednesday of Ferial Office; lacuna; 42-47, Agatha, Scholastica, Peter’s Chair, Gregory, Benedict, and Annunciation; lacuna; 52-53, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima (incomplete) to Ash Wednesday; lacuna; 55-57; First to Third Sundays of Lent; lacuna; 61, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; lacuna.
Ff. 72-111: Summer Temporale and Sanctorale. 72, Easter Sunday to Easter Monday; lacuna; 77, Easter Friday to Wednesday after Octave of Easter; lacuna; 81, Sundays in Eastertide and Rogation Days; lacuna; 91, Afra; lacuna; 101-102, Nativity of Mary, Exaltation of the Cross; lacuna; 111, Andrew; lacuna; 121, Lucy, Thomas the Apostle.
Ff. 121-131: Common of Saints. 121, Evangelists and Apostles; lacuna; 131, Virgins (incomplete).


The present inventory has been reconstructed from fragments of the manuscript in six different libraries. Reproductions of all surviving folios included in the index may be found in the dissertation of Lisa Davis . A system of sigla in the Addendum field indicates the current location of each leaf:

Sigla Library Shelfmark
B1-B17 New Haven (Connecticut), Yale University - Beinecke Rare Book and MS Library, MS 481.51 (.1-.17)
S1-S2 St. Paul-im-Lavanttal, Stiftsbibliothek, Frag. 54/8 (1-2)
L1-L4 Lambach, Benediktiner-Stift Lambach - Bibliothek, Ink. I/1/i (1-4)
I/1-I/4 Lambach, Benediktiner-Stift Lambach - Bibliothek, Ink. I/95 (flyleaves)
II/36 Lambach, Benediktiner-Stift Lambach - Bibliothek, Ink. II/36 (pastedown)
H5-H6 Boston, Harvard University - Houghton Library (Graphic Arts), Pf MS Typ 704 (5-6)
P1 Private Collection, no siglum
ST1 St. Louis, Public Library (Rare Books), Grolier #44

It is hoped that more folios of the Gottschalk Antiphoner (GA) will come to light in time. To facilitate their addition to the extant portion of the manuscript, each folio has been assigned a number based on its position in its original quire. For example, what was originally the third folio of the fifth extant quire is GA folio 53. If the place of the folio in its quire is uncertain, the folios are numbered consecutively beginning with [*]1, where [*] is the number assigned to the quire. For example, although the place of the first two extant folios of the manuscript in their original quire cannot be determined, they are consecutive, and have therefore been given the folio numbers 11 and 12.

It is important to note that while these numbers indicate in some fashion the general location of the folio in the original intact codex, they are in no way intended to indicate the exact original positions of the folios in the manuscript. This system leaves room for additional leaves, while at the same time indicating the placement of individual folios relative to their neighbours.

In the twelfth century, the scriptorium of the Benedictine abbey in Lambach, Upper Austria, was a flourishing centre of manuscript production. Surviving manuscripts of many genres testify to the quality and breadth of the artistic output of the monastery during this period. Of the twelfth-century survivals, however, one type of manuscript is conspicuously absent; no neumed liturgical manuscripts produced at the abbey survive intact. It is, therefore, significant that thirty leaves of a twelfth-century Lambach antiphoner have been identified in various collections. Together, they represent a large portion (approximately one-third) of a liturgically, musically, and art-historically important document.

The antiphoner was produced in the second half of the twelfth century, and was written, illustrated, and notated by Gottschalk of Lambach, the most prolific scribe and artist working in Lambach at the time. Fifteenth-century liturgical notations on several of the leaves indicate that the manuscript was used for approximately three hundred years. Eventually, however, monastic customs changed, and the antiphoner became out-of-date. As a result, when the monastery began acquiring printed books between 1460 and 1470, many of the older manuscripts were dismantled for use as bookbinding material (flyleaves, pastedowns, binding stays, or wrap-around bindings).

It was during this period that the antiphoner was taken apart and many of its folios used as flyleaves in newly acquired incunables bound at the abbey. All of the antiphoner’s leaves bear the scars of this period; sewing holes, shelf marks, “ex libris” notes, severe trimming, and humanistic marginalia testify not only to the use of these fragments as binding material, but also provide clear evidence of the manuscript’s Lambach provenance. Early in the twentieth century, the fragments were removed from the bindings and sold separately, either by the monastery, by an antiques dealer, or a buyer.

Tonary-letters are written in the outer margin on tiers of a column. Several folios (ff. 21, 22, 45, 47, 53, 56, 57, 61, 72, 91, 101, 121, and 131) have been trimmed in such a way that the tonary letters are now partially or completely missing. To augment the modal information contained in the file, the indexers have added the corresponding tonary letters from Engelberg 102, as compiled by Omlin, to the file, in the "Extra" field. The Engelberg directorium is particularly appropriate for this comparison because it was a sister institution with Lambach in the liturgical reform of Fruttuaria.

In those cases where Gottschalk includes antiphons not in Engelberg 102, tonary letters from the mss. Graz 29 and 30 from the Austrian abbey of Sankt Lambrecht, Steiermark, have been placed in the Extra field. Sankt Lambrecht was also a part of the Fruttuarian reform and its liturgy, as it is recorded in these antiphoners, is remarkably close to Lambach.

One of the most noteworthy features of the manuscript is the use of tonary letters to indicate the mode and “differentia” not only of antiphons, but of responsories and invitatories as well. Such usage is apparently unprecedented, and as yet is not completely understood. Neither Engelberg 102 nor Graz 29 and 30 include tonary letters for responsories or invitatories, making impossible a comparison like the one carried out for antiphons. In the case of responsories which could be compared to the readings of Graz 29 and 30 (in staff notation), positive identifications have made some modal designations possible.

Selected Bibliography

  • Babcock, R.G. Reconstructing a Medieval Library: Fragments from Lambach. New Haven, 1993.

  • Babcock, R.G, and Davis, L.F. “Two Romanesque Manuscripts from Lambach.” Codices Manuscripti XV (1990): pp. 137-47.

  • Davis, L. F. Epiphany at Lambach: The Evidence of the Gottschalk Antiphonary. Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1993.

  • Davis, L. F. The Gottschalk Antiphonary: Music and Liturgy in Twelfth-Century Lambach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

  • Davis, L. F. “Tonary-letters in Twelfth-Century Lambach.” Plainsong and Medieval Music 5 (1996): pp. 131-52.

  • Davis, L. F. “Two Leaves of the Gottschalk Antiphonary.” Harvard Library Bulletin, New Series Vol. V, No. 3 (1994): pp. 38-44.

  • Omlin, Ephrem. Die Sankt-Gallischen Tonarbuchstaben. Engelberg: Stiftsdruckerei, 1934.

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for GOTTSCHALK was prepared by Lisa Fagin Davis with editorial assistance from Charles Downey (The Catholic University of America). Full texts were added by Martha Culshaw (Dalhousie University) and edited by Alessandra Ignesti (McGill University).
Other Editors
Jennifer Bain
Debra Lacoste
Full Texts Entered by
Martha Culshaw
Complete/Partial Inventory
Complete Inventory
Full Source/Fragment
Fragment or Fragmented
Fragment ID