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Medieval Instrument For Writing

During medieval times, there were various instruments used for writing. These instruments ranged from penknives to metal pens. They were used for writing a variety of different purposes, including religious, liturgical, and legal documents. Some of these instruments are still used today.

Metal pens

During the medieval era, metal pens were used by monks to write. These tools were often attached to inkhorns by string. They were also re-cut to suit the preferences of individual monks.

A pen was a valuable tool to scribes, who needed to have access to paper and ink. The ink they used was usually charcoal-based, and the color was black. The most expensive inks were made from crushed dried beetles. These were popular in the later Middle Ages.

Quills, on the other hand, were more elastic than reed pens, and more durable. They were compatible with vellum. In fact, they were the most common writing instrument for the longest period of time. The popularity of quills lasted until the 19th century, when metal pens entered the market as mass-produced items.

The first steel pens were produced in Britain. The first maker was Wise in Britain. He set up a factory in Birmingham to manufacture the metal pens.

Metal pens were also used by the Romans. They were fashioned from bronze and copper. They were durable and precise. Some were shaped to resemble bird feathers. The holder of a pen could be made from bone or a wooden shaft. The shape of the nib could be different, and the length of the nib could vary.

Quills were also a great tool to have on hand in the medieval era. They were useful for recording legislation, financial statements, and other records. They were also used by civic officers to record their actions. They were prized possessions by those in positions of authority.

The appearance of the pen has changed over the years. A split-nib is a thin gap in the center of a sharpened point, allowing it to hold ink.


Throughout the Middle Ages, the Penknife was an indispensable writing instrument. Scribes and authors used this little tool for everything from reshaping a pen tip to scraping ink off a page. It even helped with pricking and ruling pages.

The slit in a pen’s tip may be one of the most important design elements of the writing instrument. It allows ink to be held within the tip of the pen, and the right side of the blade is vertical while the left side is curved.

A medieval scribe would hold the pen up to a window to gauge its length. He or she would also check the nib for length. The smallest blade was probably a finger-length wisp of steel.

A scribe’s desk was a sloping surface with a small inkwell on the left. He or she had a pumice stone on hand to smooth out the vellum. In addition, he or she could copy from an existing manuscript or use a separate bookstand. The pen and knife were always in their possession.

The feather reed pen is an example of a modern-day equivalent. This nib is made from a strong goose pinion and is sharpened with regular use. It is then buried in hot sand to strengthen it.

The most expensive ink was made from crushed dried beetles. The shortest blade was probably a dip pen. The most ornate were purchased from a cutler.

There are several artifacts that have been uncovered in Scandinavia, the British Isles and Poland. It’s a good idea to look up the historical origins of the Penknife. It was not uncommon for the average scribe to keep one in his or her pocket.

Liturgical drama

During the Middle Ages, a variety of musical dramas were written. The most common were plays that were based on biblical and saints’ stories. These types of plays were performed by traveling musicians. The church was an ideal setting for such musical dramas. During this time, each part of Europe had a tradition of musical drama.

The earliest examples of liturgical drama were short vocal dialogues, which were performed in 10th and 11th centuries. They were often chanted to simple monophonic melodies. A number of these plays were performed on Palm Sunday, when elaborate Palm Sunday processions were common. These processions often blended Latin and vernacular.

The church also provided a setting for music dramatizations of gospel scenes. Many of these plays were performed by priests and monks. They were written in Latin, and their language was relatively simple. They were often written in a style similar to a sung dialogue.

These plays were not an integral part of the standard church service. They were generally a supplemental entertainment. The church also facilitated the use of musical dramatizations of gospel scenes during Advent and Christmas. These plays were usually longer than their counterparts.

The most studied of all the medieval musical dramas is the Ludus Danielis. It is not easily classified as a liturgical drama, but its theological and musical association make it interesting.

The early examples of liturgical dramas include a series of plays based on a woman visiting Jesus’ tomb and an angel announcing the Resurrection. They were often staged as Latin dialogues. They were performed throughout the Middle Ages.

The most important form of medieval polyphony is the motet. It developed out of the clausula genre of plainchant. Later, the motet genre expanded to encompass secular subjects.

Ars subtilior

During the fourteenth century, a new style of music known as Ars subtilior began to emerge. This style of music was highly stylized and rhythmically complex. It had an important impact on the music of the Renaissance Period.

Ars subtilior was created to combine the French and Italian styles of music. This style was centered in Paris and Avignon in southern France. It also had a religious and cultural niche.

During the medieval period, musicians were hired for secular occasions, such as weddings and funerals. A well-established method of demonstrating wealth was to employ musicians.

The patronage of musicians was an important way for nobility to enrich the court. The music of the Baroque era was strongly associated with religion. With the Renaissance, a return to vocal music began. This style of music was highly stylized, but it was not as innovative as earlier musical styles.

The main sources of Ars subtilior repertory are the Turin Manuscript, Codex Chantilly, and Las Huelgas Codex. This repertory is complex and difficult to perform. In addition, it appeals to a specific subset of performers.

This style of music was written before a particular sense of dissonance and rhythmic displacement was developed. Nevertheless, the rhythmic complexity of Ars subtilior songs was unmatched until the twentieth century.

The genre of chanson was popular in the Ars nova. It was composed in forms similar to ballade and rondeau. These forms had subject matter relating to classical antiquity, war, and love. In addition to being composed in a manner corresponding to a poem, these works often included a refrain. The music of this genre continued to be a dominant secular genre in France for two centuries.

Doodles in manuscripts

During the Middle Ages, it was common to see doodles in manuscripts. They are usually found in the margins. They can be silly, dramatic, or illuminating. These illustrations tell stories, record events, and are functional as well as decorative.

One example is the Burchard Evangeliary, a six-and-a-half-centuries-old Christian Bible. It contains the earliest preserved example of complaint lines, which are often used to mark important sections of a text. They are also repeated in later manuscripts.

A recent study by a team of researchers at Oxford’s Bodleian Library has discovered a few doodles in the margins of the book. They include a scribble that is believed to be a link to a woman’s name. A team led by researcher Jessica Hodgkinson and collaborators also stumbled upon mysterious human-like figures that appear to have eyes. These drawings are the first to be identified in medieval manuscripts.

These mysterious human-like figures are drawn with a child-like quality. They are usually accompanied by hands or fingers. These doodles are rarely intended to be seen by the reader, so they are a fascinating look into the lives of the medieval monks who drew them.

Another interesting doodle is the pen-trial. The practice of testing a writing instrument by attempting to write on an empty sheet of paper is quite old. In the Middle Ages, scribes would test their pen on an empty piece of parchment, then cut the nib and test it again to see how crisp the letters were. This was a quick and routine process. The end result was a test sheet, which would later be repurposed as a flyleaf in the book.

The Bodleian Library developed imaging technology for manuscripts, which helped to bring these scribbles to light.

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