Antiphon(redirected from antiphony)
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Antiphon, Athenian orator
Antiphon (ănˈtĭfŏn, –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 Alcibiades returned.
See R. K. Sprague, The Older Sophists (1972); Antiphon and Lysias (tr. by M. Edwards and S. Usher, 1985).
antiphon, in liturgical music
antiphon (ănˈtĭfən), 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 plainsong. These are independent choral works for which the English term anthem 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
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