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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.
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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 ?
To this Socrates replied: Amongst us, Antiphon, the same standards in respect of what is honourable and what is shameful are thought to apply equally to the disposal of physical beauty and of wisdom.
"We were able to define things in a new way and I was really pleased we did that together, communally and were able to pull together and create Antiphon."
(73) At this point, in contrast to later embassies led by Antiphon and Phrynichus themselves, the leaders of the Four Hundred may have feared that they might be viewed as revolutionaries by the Spartans and be arrested, so they refrained from taking part themselves.
The usual format of such memoriae is a short antiphon followed by a versicle and response and a prayer.
Young, having noticed in the dramatic momentum of the music's "representation" a foretaste of the drama-ex-trope Quem quaeritis, suggested that the significance of this antiphon as resting at the predawn symbolic "Elevation of a Cross" (Elevatio crucis) "lies not so much in the use of the antiphon Cure rex gloriae, which is still a mere processional, as in the approach to a dramatic treatment of the visit of the three Marys to the empty tomb." (9) Yet, upon reviewing texts that preserve this Elevatio, one finds that European occurrences of the lengthy antiphon (transmitted in ordinals only with incipit in connection with the Visitatio Sepulchri) are few before the fifteenth century.
124-25) traces its wording to several passages of Revelation and notes how the antiphon relates the hymn to the Eucharistic banquet of which it is a part.
The tale belongs to a miracles of the Virgin genre, so this antiphon is a key to the development of the plot.
Antiphon the orator, a figure greatly admired by Thucydides, is important partly as the earliest surviving Athenian speech-writer; the Tetralogies, models of argumentation for rhetorical teaching, may belong to the 430s.
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.
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)
In the sphere of Latin chant, Terence Bailey examines the Ambrosian double antiphons and concludes that they do not provide evidence of 'antiphonal' performance of the antiphon itself in the earliest stage of its evolution.