• Russell E. Willis

Leaf From a Gradual


This is one side of Leaf 179 from a Gradual produced ca. 1550 in Northern France. I wrote a poem about the piece of music--the manuscript -- in July 2018. The poem, in part, is an explanation of what this manuscript represents.


About a year ago I concocted an experimental format for the poem, using the manuscript as the skeleton for the poem. This experimental version was recently published by Osmosis Press in the United Kingdom.


As you can see when you read the poem, the Latin text in the big print between the staves is the original Latin text and the illuminations are replicas from a digital font I found which matches the original illumination quite closely, both in script and color. I replaced the original musical notation on the four-line staves with poetry. In essence, each stave is a stanza. Read left to right from top to bottom in each stave to read stanza.

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