(from Gk. antiphoneo, to sound in answer, reply). In the narrower sense, a sacred choral work whose text, though taken from the Bible, is nonliturgical. While 17th-c. anthems were usually sung without accompaniment, modern anthems include instrumental accompaniment. Excellent anthems were written by Eng. master composers in the 17th and 18th c. Use of anthems declined in some areas toward the middle of the 20th c.
In the wider sense, an anthem is any hymn or song of gladness or praise.
See also Motet.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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