Definition of antiphonal in US English:



  • (in traditional Western Christian liturgy) (of a short sentence or its musical setting) sung, recited, or played alternately by two groups.

    • ‘Two antiphonal trumpets join the soloist to represent the Trinity.’
    • ‘The historic music of that antiphonal chorus needs to be heard, and remembered.’
    • ‘These runes are the Lord's Prayer, creation's antiphonal response to the primal ‘Let it be.’’
    • ‘Viewed structurally, the book contains distinct voices and voice-realms, but places them in antiphonal relations that suggest community.’
    • ‘The Coronation Te Deum was written for the Abbey, and is made all the more dramatic with antiphonal brass.’
    • ‘This reversal is followed by the theophany or joy of the congregation and the word joy is repeated again and again in antiphonal response.’
    • ‘Song matching appears to be a feature of antiphonal singing of Brown-headed Cowbird flight whistles.’
    • ‘Stokowski also gets an antiphonal effect here that the sound does capture.’
    • ‘The composer adapts the antiphonal structure by alternating sections of linear two-voice writing with those of chordal textures, the latter serving as multiple refrains.’
    • ‘You can hear an antiphonal effect as if there were more than one orchestra involved in the recording.’
    • ‘But, like a performance in an empty hall, there's no longer any reciprocity in Hurston's antiphonal epistemics.’
    • ‘The first part consists of an antiphonal chant from the Service for the Thursday Preceding Good Friday.’
    • ‘Additional material found in certain psalters includes refrains used for antiphonal psalmody and appendices containing canticles or other sacred writings.’
    • ‘There's one, basically the main organ here in the front, and there's also an antiphonal organ which is in the back, which is not as big as the one in the front.’
    • ‘Sometimes the entire cast is onstage as antiphonal voices from all over; sometimes a few characters linger silently on the fringes of the unit set that, as designed by John Lee Beatty, is both simple and versatile.’
    • ‘The effect of all these voices is of an antiphonal interplay that Koger claims has its roots in jazz and in the call-and-response format of traditional African and antebellum music.’
    • ‘With antiphonal brass stationed in the Lincoln Theater balcony, the orchestral climax was glorious.’
    • ‘The musical treatment ranges from monodic to polyphonic; there are antiphonal passages, most notably when high and low voices alternate in the Christe eleison section.’
    • ‘The two choirs proceed in antiphonal fashion, a kind of call and response, but the really interesting thing is the music is completely independent.’
    • ‘Huxley captures this perfectly in the antiphonal chant of the priests on Belial Day hailing that brief period in which mating is spontaneous and allowed.’


  • another term for antiphonary
    • ‘This is of course very unique and only very few places have it, but here the antiphonal is in the back of the sanctuary.’
    • ‘A magna cum laude graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Amanda Nelson's first appearance in the public eye came when she discovered two 15th century antiphonals (chant books) in the archives of the university.’
    • ‘The chants found in an antiphonal include the antiphons sung with the psalms and canticles’
    • ‘Many of these manuscripts are religious in nature; in addition to Bibles, antiphonals, and other liturgical books, the Walters possesses one of the finest collections of medieval illuminated Books of Hours in the world.’
    • ‘Catholic Spain was the final bastion of the old ways, where Antiphonals would continue to be handwritten by cloistered monks well into the eighteenth century.’