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Antiphon, Athenian orator


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

antiphon, in liturgical music


(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.


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
References in periodicals archive ?
It may be viewed as a prologue announcing the intent of the two choirs to sing antiphonally about the miracle performed by the Lord.
When Cortez returns to her title phrase for the riff chorus, she simulates the rhythm of blues music by varying the pitch of her voice antiphonally, and she experiments with vowel sounds, elongating the /o/ sound in the repeated phrase let it blow to simulate the sounds of horn players.
The isolation of the two eponymous speakers is expressed in the fact that their thoughts are rendered successively, rather than antiphonally, as if to emphasize their inability to soften the ideological barriers that separate them.
While The Meaning of Jesus is indeed magnificent, it is more aptly described as two separate songs, sung antiphonally to determine their potential for dissonance and harmony.
Warren-Green is a fine violinist and orchestra leader and he ensured that the strings excelled in the slow movement, with the theme moving gracefully between antiphonally divided violins, supported by some crisp horn playing.
The content of psalms such as these, in whole or in part, can be rendered for congregational recitation or chanting, antiphonally or responsively, in corporate worship services that give expression to communal lament.
The only difference that would strike the casual listener to a performance from Hogwood's edition is the dramatic addition of lightning-like effects in "Spring," with the second violins antiphonally filling the customary gaps.