Helsinki, National Library, F.m.I.26 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Helsinki, National Library, F.m.I.26

FIN-Hy F.m.I.26
Fragmented noted missal,12th century. 24 folios. Unknown origin. The fragments of the manuscript have been preserved as covers for tax accounts from the district of Ylä-Satakunta (Finland) from years 1583–1587 and 1598. This suggests that the manuscript was in the possession of one the churches in the area and had probably arrived there in the Middle Ages. The earliest parish in the district is Sastamala, which is assumed to date from the early thirteenth century. Given the date of the manuscript and the central position of Sastamala within the district, this can be suggested as a tentative medieval home of the manuscript. (Jaakko Tahkokallio)
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1r–18v, Temporale. 1r–v, First week of Lent (Friday–Saturday); 2r–v, Second week of Lent (Tuesday–Thursday); 3r–v, Third week of Lent (Monday–Tuesday); 4r–6v, Fourth week of Lent (incomplete); 7r–8v, Fifth week of Lent (incomplete); 10r–12v, Easter Week (Sunday–Wednesday); 13r–14r, Fourth and Fifth Sunday after Easter, Rogation Days (incomplete); 14v, Ascension; 15v–16v Vigil of Pentecost, Pentecost; 17r–v, 18th Sunday after Pentecost, Ember Days; 18r–v, 19th–21st Sundays after Pentecost.

Ff. 19r– 24v, Sanctorale. 19r, Felix [Nolan], Remigius & Hilary, Marcellus I, Pope and Martyr; 19v, Prisca, Virgin Martyr; 20r, Conversion of Paul; 20v, Octave of Agnes, Purification of Mary; 21r, Stephen I, Pope, Finding of Stephan’s Relics, Sixtus and Companions; 21v, Cyriacus and Companions, Martyrs, Vigil of Laurence; 22r, Tiburtius, Martyr, Hippolytus, Martyr, Eusebius; 22v, Assumption of Mary, Octave of Laurence; 23r–v, Agapitus, Martyr, Symphorian and Timothy, Martyrs; Bartholomew, Hermes and Augustinus; 24r–v, Birthday of Mary, Adrian, Martyr, Protus and Hyacinth, Martyrs, Holy Cross Day.


A rare manuscript

The late-twelfth or early-thirteenth-century F.m.I.26 is the oldest notated liturgical source known to have been in use in the medieval Diocese of Turku, i.e., modern southern Finland. Its surviving leaves, which now constitute a single collection item in the National Library of Finland, were preserved as covers of sixteenth-century accounts from the Satakunda district. It is probable that the missal was used there in the Middle Ages.

The missal is fragmentary and many of its folios are partly damaged. No source which would have precisely the same variants as I.26 has been identified hitherto. Many of its chants, however, are similar to ones seen in Northern French sources. Palaeographically, the missal is compatible with both Northern French and English production of the time. Given its content, we consider Northern France as the most probable origin of the manuscript. It is also possible that the manuscript was copied within the Swedish realm using a Northern French exemplar.

In I.26, the chant displaying the greatest deviation from the usual melodies is the communion Lutum fecit (f. 5r). It is not written in the most common mode, F (VI), but in the D-mode (I). The only other source with the same melody variant found so far is F-Pn 904 (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 904), Gradual of Rouen Cathedral, dated to the thirteenth century. Two other sources share the same mode with I.26 and the Rouen Gradual but follow only partially the same melody. These are F-Pn 1235 (Paris, BnF, MS nouv. acq. lat. 1235), a twelfth-century Gradual from Nevers Cathedral, and CH-P 18 (Porrentruy, Bibliothèque cantonale jurassienne, MS 18), with a twelfth-century provenance of Bellelay Abbey, Switzerland, but probably originating from North-East France. The versions found in F-Pn 1235 and CH-P 18 are very similar to one another.

The scribes in F.m.I.26

The text is copied in protogothic script by two scribes, one of whom appears only on f. 19r. The handwriting of the first scribe displays features associated with England (but not alien to Northern France), whereas the second scribe appears more likely to be continental. The initials and simple pen decorations have been executed in blue, red, green and yellow. Capital letters are not pen-drawn (a feature often seen in English manuscripts), but are highlighted in red.

The musical notation is written on a four-line staff drawn in red ink. The notation on ff. 1r–4v and ff. 10r–14v has apparently been written by the same hand (the first music scribe). This scribe draws neat note heads and precise clefs. The overall impression of the notation by the first scribe is quite perpendicular, sometimes with slight slanting strokes in the downward stroke of the cephalicus and pes cephalicus. Susan Rankin has analysed the shapes of descending neumes from several sources. She refers to the West Frankish notation with mainly perpendicular strokes, and to East Frankish and Italian notations with slanting upward and almost perpendicular downward axes. She also goes deeper in the analyses considering the possible information written in the neumes with the length and the shape of legs in the descending notes. (Rankin 2018, 226–227.)

Another music scribe can be identified on ff. 5r–9v and ff. 15v–24v. On these folios, the execution of the notation is less precise than that of the first scribe. The impression of the notation is squarer and wider, and the stems are leaning to the right. Especially in torculus neumes there are also more hairline extensions than is the case with the first scribe. The first music scribe uses brown ink, whereas the ink used by the other scribe is black. The most striking difference between the first music scribe and the work of the other scribe is in the style of the second most common clef in the manuscript, F-clef. The first scribe draws a thin F-line with small separate strokes on its right side. It is a very clear clef drawn in three distinct movements of the pen (for example, f. 1r and f. 4v). The second scribe executes the clef with only two movements: one stroke for the F-line, and a second wavelike stroke (resembling the number 3) for both of the right side strokes (for example, f. 5r and f. 16v). The execution of the F-clef changes again on f. 21v, which could indicate the presence of a third scribe. However, since the notation on the final leaves (ff. 21r–24v) otherwise closely resembles the work of the second scribe, we consider it most probably to be his handiwork too.

The clefs employed in the manuscript are D, E, F, B, BB and C. The most common clef in the manuscript is C-clef, the preferred clef of the first scribe. The second scribe prefers F-clef. There are about 50 chants written with C-clef, and about 40 chants with F-clef. All in all, six different clefs make an appearance in the manuscript: C, F, D (ff. 2r, 4v, 10r, 11v,13r, 14r, 14v) and E (11v, 12r). In addition to these, there is a B-clef (ff. 1v, 4v, 11v) and a B-flat (f. 10r, 10v, 11v). Interestingly, all the more unusual clefs, D, E, B and Bb are used on the folios (probably) written by the first music scribe. According to Susan Rankin, the use a great variety of clefs can point to England or areas under English liturgical influence (Susan Rankin’s lecture in the National Library of Finland, 29.9.2022, “Musical Notations in the Scandinavian Fragment Collections: an Aid or a Distraction?”, and Susan Rankin, Musical Notations in Fragments of Chant Books made in London, c.1200, forthcoming.)

The notation of the manuscript

The style of the notation is transitional between neumatic and quadratic, and merits special attention. Features reminiscent of neumes can be seen especially in clivis and pes. Both neumes have various kinds of modifications, which Cardine defines as ambiguity (Cardine 1982, 217).

A neume called cephalicus is a combination of virga and liquescent. The length and the curvature of the legs of the neume vary in the manuscript and even within the work of individual scribes. Many times, the right leg as well as the note head can be slanted to the right. Sometimes the right leg is quite perpendicular (there are examples of cephalicus right in the first folio, in the chant Erubescant in the word confurbentur, and in the chant Propicius esto in the word nequando). In some chants, the cephalicus has been reduced to a comma-like neume, which resembles a cephalicus of the Laon neumatic notation (Inveni David; Nihil proficiet, f. 19r, in the words confortavit and nihil). (About the Laon 239 and Laon notation see Hiley 1993, 349; Rankin 2018, 169.)

The normal pes, which is written in square notation, consists of two notes, a lower and a higher one. A special feature of the manuscript I.26 is an S-shaped pes neume. In many cases, it seems to be a form of liquescent neume or an expression of a reiteration. This S-shaped pes has a thick foot and a head. In I.26, S-shaped pes may have been used to signify as many as five different melodic gestures. We have come to this conclusion when comparing the appearance of pes in I.26 to other liturgical chant sources with the same melody. According to Cardine, the evidence from the other manuscripts is the only way to reconstruct the melody; in particular, the comparison with parallel formulas without liquescence can help in analyses (Cardine 1982, 215).

The examples in brackets in the following list are chosen to represent the possible variations. Based on the comparison with the other manuscripts, the S-shaped pes can be interpreted to signify:
1. pes stropha, which includes a reiteration note (Lutum fecit, f. 5r, in the word Lutum).
2. quilisma pes, which includes a light passing tone between the two notes of pes (Letatur cor, f. 5r, in confirmamini). Quilisma pes is usually a light passing tone, but sometimes it can be found isolated on a new syllable. In I.26, it seems to be always the passing tone. (See the definition of quilisma pes in Cardine 1982, 204–205.)
3. pes cephalicus, which consists of three notes: lower, higher and a lower smaller note, which is a liquescent note (Ne derelinquas, f. 2r in a [me]; Vovete et reddite, f. 17r, in circuitu).
4. liquescent pes, which consists of two notes, the second, the higher one, being a liquescent (Erubescant, f. 1r, in valde; Omnia que f. 8r, in et).
5. a normal pes, which for some reason is written S-shaped.
The S-shaped pes neumes have been transcribed as liquescent pedes (see the definition above). The possible interpretations as well as the comparative sources have been introduced in the comment section of the chant.

S-shaped pes in other manuscripts

Similar kinds of S-shaped neumes and cephalicus neumes can be seen in other twelfth-century missals known in the Swedish fragment collection. These also show combinations of neumes and square notation and have been attributed origins in Northern France or England. There are ca. 35 such missal sources in Stockholm, National Archives of Sweden (Riksarkivet). For example, Riksarkivet Fr 7525, which has been assigned an English origin, displays an S-shaped pes neume and parallels the first music scribe of I.26 in the neatness of the handwriting. In another example, Riksarkivet Fr 977 (located to France), the notation is leaning a bit to the right, as is the case with the second music scribe of I.26. The most promising comparative source among the Riksarkivet sources is Fr 477, located to England or Northern France and dated to the twelfth century. Another fragment, Fr 11300, is considered to be a part of the same manuscript. The source includes only one folio. There is a similarity in the F-clefs, in the melodies, as well as in the liquescent neumes with I.26 in four Marian chants: the antiphon Ave gratia plena (f. 20v), the offertory Filie regum (f. 24r), the antiphon Adorna thalamum (f. 20v) and the antiphon Responsum accepit (f. 20v).
The S-shaped pes is also characteristic of the Gradual CH-P 18, one of the melodically closest sources of I.26. However, in this source the pes neumes seem to stand mostly for a normal pes, CH-P 18 being overall more neumatic than I.26. There are similar features to the S-shaped pes in another Premonstratensian source, a twelfth century missal from Northern France (Paris, BnF, F-Pn MS Lat. 833). This manuscript has many other similarities in the shapes of notes when compared to I.26. However, as in CH-P 18, in F-Pn 833 the pes neumes seem to stand mostly for a normal pes.

Alleluias of Pentecost

A Swedish source from the twelfth century, Skara Missal, also includes S-shaped pes neumes, as well as similar transitional square/neume notation as I.26. Some features of the notation differ from I.26. For example, there are A-clefs in the Skara Missal, and in some chants four rising pitches are notated with four puncti on top of one another, which is not seen in I.26. The melodies in the sources are similar to, but not exactly the same as, those of I.26. Both sources include chants for the week after Pentecost. There are all together fourteen alleluia chants generally sung during this week. Four of these fourteen alleluias are also found in I.26: Paraclitus spiritus sanctus quem (16r Dom. Pentecost), Emitte spiritum tuum et (Feria secunda), Veni sancte spiritus reple (Feria secunda) and Loquebantur variis linguis apostoli (Feria tertia). (There were possibly more alleluias sung this week in I.26, but the folios are missing.)
In his comparative analyses of the alleluias, Christer Pahlmblad has studied all fourteen alleluia chants sung in the week following Pentecost in sixteen different sources (See Pahlmblad 2006, 141 for all the sources). The common feature for this week is that there were two alleluias sung each day. On every weekday, the first alleluia is Emitte spiritum tuum in all these sources, with very few exceptions. In most of the sources examined, the Monday alleluias are Emitte spiritum tuum and Spiritus domini replevit. In the sources from York and Rheinau (ordinale), the alleluias for Monday differ from this pattern but are the same as in I.26: Alleluia Emitte spiritum tuum and Alleluia Veni sancte spiritus. On Tuesday, only one of the sixteen, a source from Chartres, has the same alleluia for the day as I.26, Loquebantur variis linguis. (See Pahlmblad 2006, 141.) Alleluia Emitte spiritum tuum and Alleluia Veni sancte spiritus are written for Monday in I.26, in CH-P 18, f. 234 and in Rouen 904, f. 152v. Alleluia Loquebantur variis linguis is written for Tuesday in I.26 and, for example, also in the following sources in MMMO: Egerton 0857, f. 40v (London, GB-Lbl, Egerton 0857), dated to the eleventh century, with an origin in Northern France; a thirteenth century Cistercian gradual FiD 5, f. 58v (Romont, Abbey de la Fille-Dieu Romont, CH-ROM : Ms. liturg. FiD 5); and an eleventh century missal F-LA 0236, f. 89r (Laon, Bibliothèque municipale, F-LA : MS 0236) with only the text.

Locating the manuscript with the help of the venerated saints

Since the fragmentary manuscript 1.26 does not include a calendar or the Proprium de Sanctis, it is not possible to deduce the origin or liturgical tradition from the saints appearing in the chants and the texts with certainty. Some matters, however, direct us towards Northern France.

The Sanctoral of I.26 includes the feasts of saints from January 14th to February 2nd and from August 3rd to September 14th. Some attention can be paid to the veneration of two saints, the French bishops, Remigius and Hilary. There are no chants dedicated to them in the manuscript, but they are both mentioned in the text, and St Remigii is also found as a rubric (f. 19r).
In most of the liturgical sources, Remigius and Hilary are remembered on their own day: Remigius on October the 1st, and Hilary on January the 14th (or January the 13th, a week after Epiphany). The sources which venerate them both on January the 14th are rare.

In the Cantus database, there are two office sources, which both include text incipits for two office chants: a breviary I-VCd CLXX (Vercelli, Biblioteca capitolare, MS CLXX) written in Arras for use in Namur, Belgium and dated to 1200–1225, and D-W 29 Helmst (Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Bibliothek - Cod. Guelf. 29 Helmst. Heinemann-Nr. 32) an antiphoner dated to the sixteenth century and used in an Augustinian chapter of canonesses, Vitus in Hilwarshausen, Germany.

In MMMO, a twelfth century missal F-VAL 121 (Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, F-VAL MS 0121) mentions the feast of "Hilarii et Remigii episcoporum" in the calendar on the 13th of January. The origin of the missal is Benedictine monastery Abbaye de Saint-Amand in Northern France. Another source in MMMO, a thirteenth century breviarium F-CH 50 (Chantilly, Musée Condé, F-CH MS 0050) includes text incipits for two antiphons with verses. The source was used in the Latin Patriarchiate of Jerusalem.
Among English calendars, only the York calendars have Hilary and Remigius celebrated the week after Epiphany, January the 13th. According to Matthew Cheung Salisbury, the association to French saints perhaps refers to the Norman origin of the Use of York. (Salisbury 2015, 73, 85.)

Even though the celebration of Remigius and Hilary in January is found only in a small number of sources, they introduce a wide geographical culture of devotion: Belgium, Germany, France, Jerusalem, England, and finally, Turku diocese, Finland.

The text of this description is part of Vuori’s upcoming article.

Selected Bibliography

Giraud, Eleanor 2022. Differentiating hands in square chant notation. Plainsong and Medieval Music, 31(2). Cambridge: University Press. 99–121.
Haapanen, Toivo 1922. Verzeichnis der Mittelalterlichen Handschriftenfragmente in der Universitätsbibliothek zu Helsingfors. I Missalia. Helsingin yliopiston kirjaston julkaisuja IV. Helsinki: Druckerei der Finnischen Litteratur-Gesellschaft.
Hiley, David 1993. Western Plainchant, a handbook. Oxford: Calarendon Press.
Malin, Aarno 1925. Der Heiligenkalender Finnlands. Sein Zusammensetzung und entwicklung. Suomen kirkkohistoriallisen seuran toimituksia XX. Helsinki: Finnischen Litteratur -Gesellschaft.
Pahlmblad, Christer 2006. Skaramissalets liturgi in Studier, edition, översättning och faksimil av handskriften i Skara Stifts- och landsbibliotek. Redaktör. Christer Pahlmblad. Skara: Stiftelsen för utgivande av Skaramissalet. 115–146.
Rankin, Susan 2018. Writing Sounds in Carolingian Europe. The Invention of Musical Notation. Cambridge: University Press.
Salisbury, Matthew Cheung 2015. The Secular Liturgical Office in Late Medieval England. Belgium: Brepols Publishers.
Skaramissalet 2006. Studier, edition, översättning och faksimil av handskriften i Skara Stifts- och landsbibliotek. Redaktör. Christer Pahlmblad. Skara: Stiftelsen för utgivande av Skaramissalet.
Taitto, Ilkka 1992. Documenta Gregoriana. Latinalaisen kirkkolaulun lähteitä Suomessa. Porvoo: Wsoy.

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for FIN-Hy F.m. I.26 was prepared by Hilkka-Liisa Vuori (University of Helsinki), with assistance on provenance and codicological description from Jaakko Tahkokallio (University of Helsinki). The editorial assistance and proofreading was done by Anna de Bakker (Dalhousie University, Halifax). The assistant proofreading was done also by Lotta Näri (University of Helsinki).
Full Texts Entered by
Hilkka-Liisa Vuori
Melodies Entered by
Hilkka-Liisa Vuori
Complete/Partial Inventory
Complete Inventory
Full Source/Fragment
Fragment or Fragmented