Top of page

Book/Printed Material The National Library Songbook. Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional

About this Item


  • The National Library Songbook.

Other Title

  • Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional


  • Cancioneiro da Biblioteca Nacional (The National Library songbook) is a compilation of 1,560 Portuguese-Galician troubadour poems from the 12th-14th centuries. The poems are preceded by an incomplete text, Arte de trovar (Art of poetry), which gives practical guidance on composition of this kind of poetry, with a general picture of the rules of the genres developed by the minstrels and troubadours for their poems. Also known as the Colocci-Brancuti Songbook, the codex was made in Italy around 1525-26 by order of Angelo Colocci (1474-1549), an Italian humanist and Jesuit priest with a keen interest in early Italian, Provençal, and especially Portuguese poetry. Attributed to approximately 150 different Portuguese troubadours and minstrels, the poems are in three genres: cantigas de amor (poems by a troubadour to his lover), cantigas de amigo (poems by a woman addressed to a troubadour lover), and cantigas de escárnio e maldizer (songs of mockery and satire). Colocci transcribed the Arte de trovar, numbered the songs, made an index, and annotated almost the entire codex. The codex was written by six copyists, mainly in chancery italic script, as well as in bastard and cursive gothic scripts. Included are annotations by Colocci. Among the poets represented are Dom Dinis, king of Portugal (reigned 1279-1325), Sancho I, king of Portugal (reigned 1185-1211), and Pedro, Count of Barcelos (1289-1354); and 13th-century troubadours Pay Soarez de Taveirós, Johan Garcia de Guilhade, Ayras Nunes, and Martin Codax. The codex was part of the library of Count Paolo Brancuti di Cagli, where it was found in 1875. It passed into the hands of Italian philologist Ernesto Monaci in 1880. It later was acquired by the Portuguese government and entered the National Library of Portugal on February 26, 1924.


  • Codax, Martín, active approximately 1230 Contributor.
  • Colocci, Angelo, 1474-1549 Editor.
  • Dinis, King of Portugal, 1261-1325 Contributor.
  • Guilhade, Joan de Contributor.
  • Nunes, Ayras, 13th century Contributor.
  • Pedro, Count of Barcelos, 1289-1354 Contributor.
  • Sancho I, King of Portugal, 1154-1211 Contributor.
  • Soarez de Taveirós, Pay, active 13th century Contributor.

Created / Published

  • [place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], [1525 to 1526]


  • -  Italy
  • -  Portugal
  • -  Spain
  • -  1100 to 1526
  • -  Codex
  • -  Minstrels
  • -  Poetry
  • -  Portuguese poetry
  • -  Songs, Portuguese
  • -  Troubadours


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  Original resource extent: 355 folios ; 28 centimeters.
  • -  Reference extracted from World Digital Library: Ana Ferrari, Formazione e struttura del canzoniere portoghese della Biblioteca Nazionale di Lisbona (COD 10991: Colocci Brancuti): premesse codicologiche alla critica del testo Paris: Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Centre Culturel Portugais, 1979).|Giulia Lanciani e Giuseppe Tavani, editors, Dicionário da Literatura Medieval Galega e Portuguesa (Lisbon: Caminho, 1993).
  • -  Original resource at: National Library of Portugal.
  • -  Content in Galician and Portuguese.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667998

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright or other restrictions in the World Digital Library Collection. Absent any such restrictions, these materials are free to use and reuse. Researchers are encouraged to review the source information attached to each item. For information on contacting WDL partner organizations, see this archived list of partners

The Library asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here.

Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

More about Copyright and other Restrictions

For additional information and contact information for many of the partner organizations, see this archived capture of the World Digital Library site from 2021.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Codax, Martín, Active Approximately 1230 Contributor, Angelo Colocci, King Of Portugal Dinis, Joan De Contributor Guilhade, Ayras Nunes, Count Of Barcelos Pedro, King Of Portugal Sancho I, and Pay Soarez De Taveirós. The National Library Songbook. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1526, 1525] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Codax, M., Colocci, A., Dinis, K. O. P., Guilhade, J. D. C., Nunes, A., Pedro, C. O. B. [...] Soarez De Taveirós, P. (1525) The National Library Songbook. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1526] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Codax, Martín, Active Approximately 1230 Contributor, et al. The National Library Songbook. [Place of Publication Not Identified: Publisher Not Identified, to 1526, 1525] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.