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[ultimately from antiphonantiphon
, in Roman Catholic liturgical music, generally a short text sung before and after a psalm or canticle. The main use is in group singing of the Divine Office in a monastery.
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], short nonliturgical choral composition used in Protestant services, usually accompanied and having an English text. The term is used in a broader sense for "national anthems" and for the Latin motets still used occasionally in Anglican services. A full anthem is entirely choral, while a verse anthem includes parts for solo singers. The anthem arose in the Anglican Church, as the English counterpart of the Latin motet, through the work of Christopher Tye (c.1500–1573), Thomas TallisTallis or Tallys, Thomas,
c.1510–1585, English composer, who served the royal household, from c.1537 to his death, as organist.
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, and William ByrdByrd, William,
1543–1623, English composer, organist at Lincoln Cathedral and, jointly with Tallis, at the Chapel Royal. Although Roman Catholic, he composed anthems and services for the English Church in addition to his great Roman masses and Latin motets.
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 (1543–1623). Early anthems were often in the style of Latin motets, sometimes being merely an English text set to well-known motets. In the late 17th cent. composers such as Henry Purcell and John Blow, under Italian influences, wrote verse anthems with several movements, as in cantatas. George F. Handel's anthems, in the tradition of the full anthem, are, like those of Purcell and Blow, too elaborate for ordinary church use. Since the 19th cent. extracts from oratorios, masses, passions, etc., are commonly used as anthems, but these pieces are not anthems in the original sense of the term.


See M. B. Foster, Anthems and Anthem Composers (1901, repr. 1970); W. L. Reed and M. J. Bristow, ed., National Anthems of the World (1988).



a nonliturgical religious choral composition, English in origin, that is set to a biblical text. The anthem, which is similar to the motet or cantata, has been sung in England since the mid-16th century, when prominent composers in the genre were T. Tallis, W. Byrd, and O. Gibbons. Famous examples of the anthem may be found in the works of H. Purcell and G. F. Handel. There are two types of anthem: the full anthem, written primarily for chorus, and the verse anthem, in which the chorus is supplemented by additional voices, usually a solo voice or duet. Anthems are sometimes accompanied by an orchestra or an organ.


1. a song of loyalty or devotion, as to a nation or college
2. a musical composition for a choir, usually set to words from the Bible, sung as part of a church service
3. a religious chant sung antiphonally
References in periodicals archive ?
21 ( ANI ): As the world celebrates the Earth Day on April 22 every year, Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala has expressed the need for an Earth Anthem.
Our planet needs an official Earth Anthem, a song that every one across the world can sing, along with one's national anthem," wrote Koirala in an e-mail to poet-diplomat Abhay K while commending his efforts towards getting an official anthem for the planet.
In the age of increasing concern for the preservation of our planet against global warming, which is growing at an alarming rate, an Earth Anthem would complement the efforts of global bodies which are striving in this direction.
Whenever an anthem is played or sung, it would serve as a reminder towards preserving the planet.
An Earth Anthem that eulogizes the Earth, its diversity, its beauty, could also act as common thread to link all the Earth related events such as the Earth Day, Earth Hour, World Environment Day etc.
The national anthem survived Jose Feliciano, whose Latin jazz stylings at a World Series 30 years ago sent traditionalists into apoplexy.
It survived Stevie Ray Vaughn, who sang the anthem before a Dodgers game at the Houston Astrodome while accompanying himself on air guitar.
But now on the Fourth of July, the question to ponder is whether the anthem can survive all the nameless, faceless ``recording artists,'' off-Broadway actors, players' wives and screeching 7-year-olds whose oh-so-personal interpretations cause ears to bleed and eyes to roll in stadiums and arenas from coast to coast.
It's not unusual to see the too-cool anthem singers at Lakers games walk off the court and into the stands with a stack of business cards to hand out to music-industry executives.
The start of the match between Brazil and Honduras at the Coliseum - which ended up as a 5-0 Brazilian win - was delayed because no one could find a tape of the Honduran national anthem.
But the Hondurans held their ground, not wanting to budge until a copy of their anthem could be found and played.
The missing Honduran anthem followed right on the heels of the missing Trinidad bus, whose absence stranded the Trinidad team outside Anaheim Stadium for an hour after Saturday's game with the United States.