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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 ?
2-17) was sung antiphonally between two half-choirs using parallel fragments of the strophe (vv.
From this we learn, that the central phrase of the Kaddish was known and presumably recited antiphonally probably in aliturgical setting, the cantor saying the first half and the congregation responding with the second half.
On the matter of theological importance, the Talmud contains the following three injunctions, all of which stress the importance of reciting antiphonally the central phrase of the Kaddish:
Franck scores the eight-voice pieces (many of which are wedding motets) for two antiphonal choirs, and his motets for five and six voices also reveal a polychoral tendency in the frequent division of the ensemble into smaller, antiphonally interacting groups.
As in the Midrash, the strophes of the psalm are sung antiphonally by different speakers:
Sensing that the room required sound to come from the sides, Feldman deployed his chorus antiphonally, forcing the listener to become "involved with the totality.
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.
I was also delighted to hear an intensive rehearsal of Michael Finnissy's newly commissioned COMA piece Plain Harmony for mixed ensemble in eight parts, separated antiphonally.
Jeffrey Skidmore's light-touch direction of this wonderful work was beautifully judged, allowing his ten-voice Ex Cathedra Consort space for personal display in the solo sections (there are enough to accommodate everyone separately or in pairs) while moulding a surprisingly rich-toned tutti from the antiphonally grouped full ensemble.
The rasping brass and two antiphonally placed timpanists, hard-headed sticks producing a real thwack, reminded us that these were still martial instruments in 1749, while the whooping horns sounded as if they were just back from a day's hunting.
We've done this for several of my books now, and having two voices speaking antiphonally works really well.