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Affordable splendour: editing, printing and marketing the Sarum Antiphoner (1519–20)

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The two‐volume Sarum Antiphoner, printed by Wolfgang Hopyl for Franz Birckman in 1519–20, was the most ambitious music‐publishing venture undertaken for the English market throughout the sixteenth century. Printed in red and black, and comprising nearly 1,100 folios, it provided music and texts for the divine Office. It was a logistical triumph, resulting from editorial expertise provided from members of King's College, Cambridge (one of whom died during its preparation). Although very few copies survive, its potential market was substantial, and its commercial viability is considered here (as well as its likely retail price). Most copies were presumably lost at the Reformation; the surviving copies, a high number of which were preserved in private households, all belong to the same edition of 1519–20.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Newcastle University

Publication date: February 1, 2012


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