THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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ANTIPHONY (Gr. ἀντί, and φωνή, a voice), a species of psalmody in which the choir or congregation, being divided into two parts, sing alternately. The peculiar structure of the Hebrew psalms renders it probable that the antiphonal method originated in the service of the ancient Jewish Church. According to the historian Socrates, its introduction into Christian worship was due to Ignatius (died 115 A.D.), who in a vision had seen the angels singing in alternate choirs. In the Latin Church it was not practised until more than two centuries later, when it was introduced by Ambrose, bishop of Milan, who compiled an antiphonary, or collection of words suitable for antiphonal singing. The antiphonary still in use in the Roman Catholic Church was compiled by Gregory the Great (590 A.D.).
Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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