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(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).


(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 ?
the antiphons of the blessed virgin which are usually said after compline, namely Salve regina and the others, should be said by turns through the entire year at the arrangement of the cantor.
The Easter processional series itself unveils several such reminiscences of the Crucifixion and the Maundy Foot-Washing in antiphons going as far back as the Palm Sunday commemoration.
The First Tetralogy was one of three Tetralogies traditionally attributed to Antiphon.
At the LMC meeting February 18-20, 1975, in Minneapolis the revised communion music, together with the newly composed alternate Song of Praise, "Worthy is Christ" (with its antiphon, "This is the feast of victory"), were accepted for recommendation to the ILCW.
Helisachar and his experts collected and edited antiphons according to the grammarian's principles of auctoritas, ratio, and usus.
The priest, in his black cassock, intoned into the sharp September wind, and the two respondents sang the antiphons, mostly "Gospodi po-mi-luy," meaning "Lord, have mercy.
Here we have the usual format of Vesper psalms preceded by plainchant antiphons and followed by motets or sonatas as antiphon substitutes, concluding with a hymn and Magnificat.
Antiphons reputation as an innovator, both as the first professional speech-writer and as the first to publish rhetorical treatises, is Pseudo-Plutarch's next topic.
The multiple settings of the four Marian antiphons reflect the popularity of these texts and their importance in the liturgy as, to a lesser extent, does the series of Te Deum settings.
Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the Advent 0 Antiphons as "a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well.
Bach's Passacaglia, Fugue in G Major and Fugue in G Minor; Two Antiphons by Marcel Dupre; Prelude, Fugue and Variation, Opus 18 by Cesar Franck; Berceuse by Louis Vierne; and Variations on "Amazing Grace" for English horn and organ by Calvin Hampton.
Tolbert McCarroll has a thing for the O Antiphons, those great hymns of joy chanted by monks in the week before Christmas since the year 900 or so.