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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 ?
From its inception, Cure Rex traveled in company with other processional antiphons destined for the Easter Mass.
The pre-1573 Toledo-Use ferial antiphons were typical casualties; the texts and melodies of large numbers of these were simply erased, and the new post-Tridentine Roman-Use antiphons copied in their place.
The candles are asperged, incensed, and handed out singuli singulas (and, according to the apparent order in the Concordia, lit after dispersal), while the participants sing three antiphons (from the Canterbury Benedictional):
For example, "the sound of an O Antiphon still jazzes me," he writes, because the hymn helps him hold off the distractions of the world and experience the inner connections of the Christmas season.
A more obviously appropriate parable might be that of the wise and foolish virgins, which does indeed furnish the gospel-reading for an unmartyred virgin in the Sarum and Hereford rites, and in all the women's offices supplies some of the antiphons, responds and versicles.
Among them are three responsories and two antiphons for Advent and a noteworthy and musically coherent series of lour prosulas, which include melodies derived from the neuma triplex: tropes to the verses of the responsory Descendit de caelis for Christmas (without the Fabricae melismas) and tropes to the final responsories of Matins for St.
Conference of Catholic Bishops completed its new English translation of the Roman Missal--but not before controversy over the missal's antiphons, which the bishops never voted on.
This was the rationale of Ex Cathedra's latest visit to Warwick, and with Jeffrey Skidmore showing his well-known flair for programming we found Charpentier's grand Mass for four choirs interspersed with another of his polychoral works, the Salve Regina for three choirs, four of his 'O' antiphons, contemporary settings of the same texts commissioned recently by the choir itself, and two of Guillaume Gabriel Nivers' interesting plainsong settings.
The chants include antiphons, invitatories, great and short responsories, hymns, versides, and other items distributed in the Temporale, Sanctorale, Common of Saints, Office for the Dead, and later additions appended to the end of the codex.
During the previous 20 years, many prayers and antiphons were created anew, with little reference to the original sacred language.
These antiphons are a mosaic of hope, based on biblical references to the coming of the Divine One into a waiting world.
Trautman asked how the translation of the antiphons used in the liturgy had been ceded to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship without debate or a vote from the U.