Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Hs BKT.006 ("Tsgrooten Antiphoner") | Cantus Database

Gent, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Hs BKT.006 ("Tsgrooten Antiphoner")

B-Gu Hs BKT.006
Sixteenth-century antiphoner from the Premonstratensian abbey of Tongerlo (Belgium). 575 x 400 mm (620 x 425 x 150 mm). 338 numbered folios (fol. 49bis is indicated as 049zv/049zv in the inventory). A bifolio has been interpolated after fol. 133v. Square notation on red, 4-line staves.
Liturgical Occasions

The Tsgrooten Antiphoner is divided into a temporale (ff. 1r–135v); hymns (ff. 136r–151v); miscellaneous offices (f. 152r); commons (ff. 152v–161v); and sanctorale (ff. 161v–336v).

Fol. 151r shows four short settings for the word "alleluia" labelled in a more modern hand "1 & 2", "3 & 4", etc.. These may have been added at the ends of chants in Paschal time. They are followed by eight longer, untexted melodic formulas labelled 1-8 in a contemporary hand, presumably one for each mode since the finals correspond.


B-Gu, Hs. BKT.006 (the ‘Tsgrooten Antiphoner’) was commissioned in 1522 by Antonius Tsgrooten, abbot of the Premonstratensian abbey of Tongerlo, located in the province of Antwerp. The manuscript is a summer volume, holding the chants for the divine office from Easter up until the Sunday before Advent. The corresponding winter volume—with chants from Advent to Holy Week—is in the British Library (GB-Lbl, Add. MS 15427). Also commissioned in 1522 was a hymnary (GB-Lbl, Add. MS 15426). These three manuscripts are all of similar dimensions, compilation structures, and styles.

All three manuscripts are of interest for the illuminated miniatures and border flourishing, executed in the Ghent-Bruges style, with particularly elaborate border pages for key feasts. The scribe responsible for the manuscripts, Franciscus van Weert, was a prolific copyist for other Premonstratensian manuscripts, including those at the nearby abbeys of Park and Averbode.

B-Gu, Hs. BKT.006—along with its companion volumes—was heavily edited in the seventeenth century to adhere more consistently with Premonstratensian chant reform. These editorial changes accord with other manuscripts from the order, and conform with the new edition of the Antiphonarium Praemonstratense published by Guillaume-Gabriel Nivers (Paris, 1680). These changes manifest in the erasures of older notes and text, and overwriting in a newer hand. Some chants and rubrics are struck through entirely, whereas new additions and notes are inserted interlinearly or in available margin space.

Prior to the abbey’s dissolution during the French Revolution, the manuscript was gifted to the House of Merode. The Flemish Government bought the manuscript in 2008, after which it was brought to its current home at the Universiteit Gent.

Selected Bibliography

  • Behrendt, Inga. "Liturgische handschriften met muzieknotatie in de premonstratenzer abdijen Grimbergen, Tongerlo, Park en Averbode: wat is voorhanden en welke zijn premonstratenzer handschriften?" In Premonstratenzer gregoriaans in de Nederlanden: liturgische handschriften (13de–16de eeuw), 15-29. Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2011.

  • Bleisch, Nicholas W. and Henry T. Drummond. "Op zoek naar de verborgen schat in het Antifonarium Tsgrooten." In Als de Bliksem: 900 jaar norbertijnen en norbertinessen, 15-29. Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2021.

  • Long, Sarah Ann, and Inga Behrendt. Antiphonaria: A Catalogue of Notated Office Manuscripts Preserved in Flanders (c.1100–c.1800). Volume 1: Averbode, Dendermode, Diest, Geel, Ghent, Tongeren, 98-100. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.

  • Long, Sarah Ann. "Hymns in the Tsgrooten Antiphoner." In Premonstratenzer gregoriaans in de Nederlanden: liturgische handschriften (13de–16de eeuw), 45-48. Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2011.

  • Mannaerts, Pieter. "Het Antifonarium-Tsgrooten: de eewige jeugd van het gregoriaans." Openbaar Kunstbezit in Vlaanderen 46 (2008): 8–11.

  • Mannaerts, Pieter. "Letare mater nostra Iherusalem: het Augustinus-officie in het Antifonarium-Tsgrooten." Tijdschrift voor gregoriaans 34 (2009): 61–66, 102–109.

  • Mannaerts, Pieter. "Musicologische verkenning vanuit het Antifonarium Tsgrooten (1522); In Premonstratenzer gregoriaans in de Nederlanden: liturgische handschriften (13de–16de eeuw), 31-43. Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2011.

  • Watteuw, Lieve. "De verluchting van het Antifonarium Tsgrooten: de verspreiding van de Gents-Brugse stijl in Brabant omstreeks 1520." In Premonstratenzer gregoriaans in de Nederlanden: liturgische handschriften (13de–16de eeuw), 49-54. Averbode: Uitgeverij Averbode, 2011.

Notes on the Inventory
The index for B-Gu Hs BKT.006 was prepared by Nicholas Bleisch and Henry T. Drummond with the collaboration of Tin Cugelj, Patrick Huang, Gillian Hurst, Karin Lagergren, David Merlin, Philippa Ovenden, and Miriam Wendling, with proofreading by Alessandra Ignesti (McGill University) and editorial assistance by Debra Lacoste (Dalhousie University).
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