It was only by a stroke of luck that the “llibre vermell” survived a fire at the monastery of Montserrat, set by Napoleon’s troops in 1811 - a manuscript so called because it is bound in red velvet. It was copied in large part by one person during the last decade of the 14th century. The folio’s “21v-27r” are especially important for the history of music as they contain a song book. The
purpose of the Llibre Vermell is explained very clearly in a Latin note, which advises the pilgrims to the monastery that they had to avoid “vain songs” and “dishonest dances” during their journey and stay in Montserrat. Thus the Llibre Vermell contained a repertoire for the faithful; the texts of the songs are almost exclusively poems in praise of the Virgin.