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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 ?
National Anthem because she would likely not be able to pronounce correctly some of the Filipino words in the Philippine national anthem.
Every national anthem, it doesn't matter if it is your worst enemy, it's just one or two minutes and you should be quiet and respect it and that should be the same for everyone.
There is nothing as bad as standing in a stadium to hear continuous booing of a national anthem.
The course of study set by the Education, Science and Technology Ministry, which is the standard for curriculums in primary, middle and high schools, stipulates that teachers must help children understand the meaning of the national flag and the national anthem, and that they must instruct them as to how to raise the national flag and how to sing the national anthem on such occasions as graduation and enrollment ceremonies.
The Canadian national anthem was next, and Sale sang along as the two flags went up and stopped next to each other.
It was a thought of mine not to have the national anthems and we rarely do at our shows.
Supporters jeered the Welsh national anthem at Windsor Park, while striker John Hartson was singled out for abuse during the game because he plays for Celtic.
Is it that God Save the Queen is the only national anthem which is also a prayer, the real objection of these people?
Therefore, on reflection, it is our view that it would be preferable for fans to participate in the singing of their club songs, half-an-hour before kick-off, instead of any national anthems.
Along with its library of more than 500,000 songs, the company has developed customized CDs with edited scores of 200 national anthems for the medal ceremonies.
Neither have the force of law and both rely on custom and practice to confirm their role as national anthems.

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