Music and Manuscripts

Music and Manuscripts

Antique prints about music, musical instruments, illuminated manuscripts and calligraphy.
In the olden days, (before TV and phones!), music was often the favoured way for families to entertain themselves. Most middle and upper class families had a piano, and ladies and gentlemen would enjoy playing the piano and singing together. Sheet music was often bought to life with beautiful illustrations to help all understand the emotions and thoughts behind the composition.
Illuminated manuscripts has text embellished with decorations such as initials, borders and miniature illustrations. Before the invention of the printing press in 1455, all books were handwritten and often decorated. The word manuscript comes from the Latin words manus (hand) and scriptus (to write). Illuminated, from the Latin illuminare (to light up), denotes the glow created by the radiant colors of the illustrations. Illuminations took the form of decorated letters, borders and scenes (also called miniatures). Musical scores were also often decorated in this way.

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