Stroncone was founded in the 10th century. On this field trip, we visit the town’s municipal building which houses choral books from the 14th century.
A choral book or choir book is a large format manuscript used by a musical ensemble of singers in churches or cathedrals during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The music is large enough so that the entire ensemble can read from the one book. Choral books were generally placed on a stand with the shorter boy sopranos standing in front and the men behind.
A choral book was a major investment. Many of them were utilitarian, and existing books show signs of extensive use.
Because of the translucency of vellum skin, you can see music, written on the verso, showing through faintly, adding an ethereal quality.
At larger cathedrals, choral books were lavishly decorated and illuminated.
Illuminated choral books were expensive to produce, so they were usually owned by families or institutions rather than individuals.
Once the printing of music became more commonplace, choral books were replaced by smaller, more economical books.
Throughout Umbria, lettering appears everywhere.
Even on the worn doorstep of a pharmacy in Assisi, the next town on the itinerary.
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