antiphon

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Antiphon

(ăn`tĭfŏn, –fən), c.479–411 B.C., Athenian orator. He rarely spoke in public but wrote defenses for others to speak. Of his 15 extant orations 3 were for use in court, the rest probably for the instruction of his pupils. A few fragments of other speeches survive. Antiphon did much to advance Attic prose writing. His position in politics was with the conservative aristocrats, and he was instrumental in setting up the Four Hundred in 411 B.C. When they fell, Antiphon was among the first to be executed before AlcibiadesAlcibiades
, c.450–404 B.C., Athenian statesman and general. Of the family of Alcmaeonidae, he was a ward of Pericles and was for many years a devoted attendant of Socrates. He turned to politics after the Peace of Nicias (421 B.C.
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 returned.

Bibliography

See R. K. Sprague, The Older Sophists (1972); Antiphon and Lysias (tr. by M. Edwards and S. Usher, 1985).


antiphon

(ăn`tĭfən), 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. However, the sung introit, offertory, and communion verses of the Mass are also antiphons, whose psalms have for the most part disappeared. Certain festival chants, sung preparatory to the Mass itself, are called antiphons. There are also the four antiphons of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which are in the nature of office hymns and are sung by alternating choirs (i.e., antiphonally), each one belonging to a certain portion of the year. The best known of these is Salve Regina, of whose text there are many polyphonic settings. Modern antiphons are set to composed music rather than plainsongplainsong
or plainchant,
the unharmonized chant of the medieval Christian liturgies in Europe and the Middle East; usually synonymous with Gregorian chant, the liturgical music of the Roman Catholic Church.
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. These are independent choral works for which the English term anthemanthem
[ultimately from antiphon], 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.
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 was derived from antiphon.

antiphon

1. a short passage, usually from the Bible, recited or sung as a response after certain parts of a liturgical service
2. a psalm, hymn, etc., chanted or sung in alternate parts