Knife History

The V&A Museum in London is in possession of a rare notation knife.

Medieval Diners Sang Grace From Notation Knives

They’re called notation knives, and they’re engraved with what amounts to sheet music for multi-voiced song. They’re indicative of the formal role music played in medieval dining, according to Flora Dennis, an art historian and author of the book “Re-thinking Renaissance Objects: Design, Function and Meaning.” Holding the knife in the...