(redirected from Antiphons)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(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.
..... Click the link for more information.


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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 was derived from antiphon.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The repertoire included in the Cranston manuscript is quite extensive, including over twentyfive antiphons as well as troped versions of Regina caeli laetare, Ave regina caelorum, and Salve regina.
The christological import of both antiphons is given emotional emphasis in the dialogue.
The First Tetralogy was one of three Tetralogies traditionally attributed to Antiphon. They are arguably the oldest Greek forensic speeches still in existence (Usher, 1999, p.
My purpose here is to demonstrate that the first of these biographies, the Life of Antiphon (832b-834b), repays close study and, far from being worthless, reliably preserves a tradition which provides useful material on its subject.(3) Some of what appears below is inevitably going over well-trodden ground.(4) but there is, in my opinion, sufficient material in the Life which has been overlooked or misinterpreted to justify the following re-examination.(5)
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."
Much of the music it contains has never been recorded before, and this disc--which includes more than thirty responsories, lections and antiphons from the collection--offers both a fascinating window on the ways the traditional Sarum Rite was adapted for use in Irish churches during this period and a listening experience of rare and sumptuous loveliness.
Sections were linked with the plainsong versions of the great Marian antiphons.
The plainsong in Dupr's Magnificat (and Hildegard of Bingen's Antiphons for St Ursula) is excellent and organist Andrew Lumsden (formerly of Lichfield Cathedral) gives bravura performances both in the Dupr and the Flor Peeters' organ solo on Ave maris stella.
85, 18 and 140 of the Septuagint); (ii) the 'little' antiphons (so called, apparently, because they have no more than four verses, each drawn from Pss.
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.
Out with Dave Matthews Band songs at Mass; in with "Our God is an Awesome God" and traditional antiphons.
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.