P03, 1581a
Thomae Ludovici a Victoria Abvlensis. Hymni totius anni Secundum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae consuetudinem. Qui quattuor concinuntur vocibus. Una cum quattuor Psalmis, pro praecipuis festivitatibus, qui octo vocibus modulantur. Ad Gregorium XIII. Pont. Max. Romae. Ex Typographia Dominici Basae. M. D. LXXXI.


Folio máximo.

51 x 34 cm.

183 pages.

Cover in two colors: red and black.

Dedicated to: Gregorio XIII

Cover: image from the specimen at Museo Internazionale e biblioteca della musica di Bologna, Bologna (Italy).


For the holy Father Gregory XIII, Supreme Pontiff.

Our Blessed Father, I carry out my work in sacred areas and especially in sacred music which has always attracted me in a natural way since long ago, and according to others’ opinions, I do it quite properly. And, recognizing this gift as a divine benefit, I made a great attempt not to be ungrateful with the one whom all goods come from, because, if I fell down in a lazy and dim idleness and hid in earth the talent I have been given, I would refuse my Lord the fair and wished fruit.

Consequently, since I had noticed you really liked, in your heart and in your ears,  the motets and masses I had previously made as wells as some new songs, I have started another work whose daring beginning and favourable ending I entrust to your divine benevolence.

So, when I noticed that the melodies of the sacred hymns, written by different musicians and collected in different volumes, were searched with a serious waste by churches and a great boredom by singers, I worked with great care and enriched with harmonic melodies these hymns included in a single volume to solve, up to where I could reach, these problems and get both parts’ support.

The fairest reasons really took me to address them to you, holy prelate of the Christian religion, since, having this Gregory joined all the hymns of a certain sort together which were later called Gregorian chant due to his compiler or having brought to this city the bastion of religion, I decided that, you fully deserved these hymns, some harmonic compasses and other better melodies because you have the same name and post as the former.

I must also claim before you my special consideration and devotion which, with no doubt at all, took me to offer willingly this humble present to your Holiness and I hope you accept it with the same emotion I feel giving it to you. I pray constantly, through the intercession of this, whose person you represent in the earth, for you perpetual health and happiness for the salvation of Catholic Church and Christian Republic.


The very humble servant of your Holiness.

Tomás Luis de Victoria.


Translation: Carmen Jerez Cid.


[Digital dedicatory access]

Image from the specimen at Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich (Germany).


[Digital Index access]

Image from the specimen at Archivo de la Catedral de Jaén, Jaén (Spain)digitized by Nacho Álvarez©.

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Preserved specimens (Cramer/RISM)