Item No: mca2110131
Additional Title: Noels (Christmas carols)
Rare Book Department
This manuscript can be dated to ca. 1520, with sixteenth-century additions.
This manuscript contains a rare collection of French "Noels" or Christmas carols, many of which are unpublished. These were popular songs sung by the laity in celebration of Christmas and outside of a liturgical or ritual context. The agrarian and pastoral themes that appear in the illustrations throughout the manuscript reflect the rustic associations that this form of popular song carried, due in part to the fact that according to the Bible, it had been the lowly shepherds who had been the first to hear of Christ's birth. This illustration shows a man playing an instrument, possibly a hurdy gurdy, a stringed instrument that operated by a hand-crank.
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Lewis E 211