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Barnard MS 1, pg. 9

This is a project created by Gareth Cordery for Prof. Susan Boynton’s fall 2021 course, Liturgical Manuscripts and the Digital Humanities.

This website discusses the presence and role of vertical lines in Barnard MS 1, a manuscript in Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. I focus on two feasts, the Common of the Apostles and Corpus Christi, and comparisons with other contemporary Franciscan manuscripts.

For more on the manuscript and an explanation of key terms, see the about page.

There are four broad types of vertical lines in Barnard MS 1.

Two are scribal, showing the endings of chants or added for textual clarity.

And two reflect performance practice, denoting either a change in performer from soloist to choir (and vice versa) or places for breaths or the ends of phrases.

Vertical lines that show the endings of chants and a change in performer are the most straightforward; we’ll start with those. It’s harder to distinguish between lines for textual clarity and those that mark breaths or phrases.

In the following pages, we’ll look briefly at each of these types, see how they appear and interact on a page of the manuscript, and finally consider the vertical lines of Barnard MS 1 in context.

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