Development of Notation

Early German Neums   

Neums, written above the syllable, indicate the change of pitch. Neums were an aid to memory for a chant already learnt.
Section from Noted Sequentiary, including sequences for most of the church year from both the proper of Time and of Saints. Germany, possibly Switzerland; early 12th century.
MS bifolium fragment; vellum; 189 x 287mm.
From 'European Illustrated Books and Manuscripts, c.1400-1700' website written and compiled by Takami Matsuda, with assistance of Emiko Yamagishi. This image, courtesy of © 1999 Takami Matsuda / HUMI Project / Keio University Library.  

Page from The Booke of Common Praier Noted by John Merbecke - 1550

This page from Merbecke's Booke of Common Praier Noted shows the four-line notation of the time.

The symbol at the beginning of the second line down is the clef.

Photo, courtesy of the Virginia Theological Seminary at

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