1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Antiphony

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.).