NO, the pulpitum
is a solid screen, generally of stone but occasionally of wood, which closes off the choir from the nave.
Many of Ball's figures are unnaturally attenuated; the ones that were in the niches of the medieval pulpitum
that is in the Morning Chapel beautifully reflected the slender Purbeck columns of their surroundings and again feel as though they were created with this particular context in mind.
Until the middle of the eighteenth century there was an example at Amiens Cathedral on the west side of the pulpitum, almost certainly a later addition dating from the second decade of the sixteenth century.
The pulpitum at Amiens was erected in the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century.
Just as the richest and best vestments were used on the most solemn days, so the doors of the `great' organ were opened for use then; and just as in some churches the gradual, alleluia and gospel were proclaimed from the pulpitum
, so the organ was played there on feast days.
The choir would be separated and divided from the nave by a solid screen, the pulpitum
, which was often of stone and might be surmounted by a cross or an altar.
For the Passion it is likely that, by the end of the century, the cappella was split into three groups: those members singing the text of the narrative and the Evangelium were positioned in the pulpitum lectionum, those singing the text of Christ in the Epistle pulpit, and those singing the text of the crowd in the pulpitum magnum.(14) The doge returned to the basilica after the midday meal to hear the sermon and Vespers.
Stringa indicates that Psalm 50 was, on a signal from the officiating canon, to be 'sung soffly by the cappella in two or three choirs, as the maestro di cappella sees fit'.(19) On Thursday morning the doge was present for the Offices from Prime to None, and subsequently for Mass which was sung loudly and solemnly by the cappella from the pulpitum magnum, with organ participation.(20) Mass was followed immediately by said Vespers.(21) The cappella returned to the basilica for Matins and Lauds.
As well as confirming Stringa's statement, Bonifacio adds the information that, at least in this earlier period, the smaller pulpit on the other side of the nave would be used by the singers when the pulpitum magnum was occupied by the doge.
The professional singers, on the other hand, were accommodated in the ~beautiful, round, big, high pew', which must be the pulpitum magnum (illus.8).