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anthem


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The English‐speaking Protestant Churches' equivalent of the Latin motet, from which it sprang. An Anglican creation, with a place in the C of E liturgy. It constitutes in ordinary churches the one great occasion when the choir alone undertakes the duty of song, and when an elaborate vocal setting impossible and unsuitable in other parts of the service becomes proper and effective. It is usually but not necessarily acc. by organ, and frequently incl. passages for solo vv., individually or in combination. The anthems of Purcell and Blow are like cantatas. S. S. Wesley was prolific composer of anthems nearer to the style favoured today. The term is also less strictly used, as in the phrase ‘National Anthem’, to denote a solemn, hymn‐like song.

Subjects: Music.


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