Gaffurius Codices

Gaffurius codices online is a website dedicated to the four manuscripts of polyphonic music prepared by Franchinus Gaffurius for the Duomo of Milan in the decades around 1500. Gaffurius (1451–1522), a music theorist and composer, was chapel master at the Milanese cathedral from 1484 to 1522.

The four large-size manuscripts, also known as Libroni (‘big books’), are among the most important extant sources of sacred polyphony for the period. Not only they attest to the repertory performed in the Duomo, but they are the sole, albeit indirect, testimonies of the rich musical culture at the Sforza court.

The manuscripts (the last of which, severely damaged in a fire in 1906, is only fragmentarily preserved) contain music by such composers as Josquin des Prez, Loyset Compère, Gaspar van Weerbeke, Heinrich Isaac, and Jacob Obrecht, besides Gaffurius himself. The corpus comprises more than two hundred motets (and several motet cycles, including the famous motetti missales), 40+ mass settings, 30+ Magnificats, seven hymns, two Te Deums, a set of Lamentations, one Italian lauda, and four textless compositions.

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