Missale Romanum, Ulrich Han

Missale Romanum was the first book of music to be printed using movable type, which was invented in China around 1401. Missale Romanum contained only monophonic music, but its publication is still significant because it revolutionized printing techniques. There are many nuances associated with printing music; first, the printer would need to establish the set of immovable lines that makes up the staff. Second, the printer would need to accurately superimpose all other musical notations on top of the staff. The creation of a method that factored these into account led to the bulk printing and distribution of music, as seen by Ottaviano Petrucci’s Harmonice Musices Odhecaton, which was the first music book to be printed in extensive quantities, as well as the first polyphonic book printed using movable type. As bulk printing gained momentum, music was easily distributed across cities and countries, and it became more universal and accessible.




Norman, Jeremy. “Ulrich Han Issues the First Dated Printed Book Containing Music (October 12, 1476).” Ulrich Han Issues the First Dated Printed Book Containing Music (October 12, 1476) : HistoryofInformation.Com, Jeremy Norman and Co., Inc., 29 Jan. 2015, www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=3741.


Image Source: http://www.musicprintinghistory.org/music-type/moveable-type

Associated Place(s)

Event date: