Together with CH-SGs 391, this manuscript forms a complete antiphoner written and illuminated by the St. Gall monk Hartker in his recluse cell near St. Gall. He moved to the cell in 986 and stayed there until his death in 1011.
The antiphoner was written for the male, Benedictine abbey of St. Gall, and is one of the earliest extant neumed antiphoners. The manuscripts are known for their script, neumes, and illuminations. Originally written as a single book, it was divided into two volumes in the mid-thirteenth century. Around this time, there were also some additions to the manuscript by another hand in Carolingian miniscule script (pp. 7-10).
This volume (390) contains chants from Advent until Easter, as well as a fragmented tonary. The tonary is divided between the Winter (390) and Summer (391) volumes and is missing some pages. Reconstructed in their original order, the tonary is as follows: pp. 1-2, 195-202 (1-8 of CH-SGs 391), 457-458 (263-264 of CH-SGs 391), 3-4, 193-194, 187-188, 455-456 (261-262 of CH-SGs 391), 5-6. An outline of the distribution of the tonary between the two volumes is handwritten on the inside fly-leaf of CH-SGs 390.
The manuscript includes a handwritten notes and a description of the antiphoner in Latin, written in two different hands on the inside front cover, and a stamp of the St. Gall coat of arms on p. 15. Tonary letters are written in the margins, and are transcribed in the differentia field of the index. Pages were numbered in pencil in the upper outside corners of the manuscript, after the division of the antiphoner into two volumes. The manuscript includes various illuminated letters and four coloured pen drawings: dedication of St. Gall receiving the book from Hartker (p. 11); St. Gregory with his dove dictating the chants to a scribe (p. 13); Last Supper (p. 183); and Christ washing St. Peter's feet (p. 186).
- Catholic Church, Hartker, and Jacques Froger. Antiphonaire de Hartker: manuscrits Saint-Gall, 390-391. Paléographie musicale; les principaux manuscrits de chant grégorien, ambrosien, mozarabe, gallican, publiés en facsimilés phototypiques. Berne: Editions H. Lang, 1992.
- Clark, James Midgley. The Abbey of St. Gall as a Centre of Literature. Cambridge: University Press, 1926.
- Froger, Jacques. Antiphonaire de l'Office monastique transcrit par Hartker, MSS Saint-Gall 390-391. Bern: H. Lang, 1970.
- Helsen, Katherine Eve. "The Great Responsories of the Divine Office: Aspects of structure and transmission." PhD diss., Universität Regensburg, 2008.
- Loos, Ike de, and Cornelius (Kees) Pouderoijen. n.d. "Wer ist Hartker? Die Entstehung des Hartkerischen Antiphonars." In Patronen ontrafeld: Studies over gregoriaanse gezangen en Middelnederlandse liederen, 97-117. Middeleeuwse studies en bronnen, No. 139. Hilversum, Netherlands: Verloren, 2012.
- Minelli, Carla. "Formule delle antifone di 1º modo di Hartker." Studi Gregoriani 4 (1988): 73-106.
- Omlin, P. Ephrem. Die Sankt-Gallischen Tonarbuchstaben. Regensburg: Friedrich Pustet, 1934.