Anthem
(910 words)

1. Terminology

The word “anthem” denotes a genre of English  vocal music. Its terminological roots go back to the medieval practice of antiphonal (responsive) chanting, especially of  psalm verses or their refrains. In the Catholic liturgy,  antiphon means just such a refrain. The Old English form of Greek antíphōnos was antefn, which became Middle English antym or antem and finally anthem.

For centuries the English words “antiphon” and “anthem” were used synonymously, but…

Cite this page
Heldt, Guido, “Anthem”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 19 August 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_016881>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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