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Edward Foley

revised by Joseph Dyer

(Lat. acclamatio, clamor, conclamatio, laudatio, laus, vox Gk. euphēmia, euphēmēsis, phēmē, polychronion, polychronisma).

A corporate shout or public cry of affirmation or dissent; also in a religious context a fervent expression of praise, invocation or supplication. Common to many performative contexts across a broad range of traditions and at times accompanied by gestures, acclamations became particularly important in political and religious rituals in East and West. Originating as spontaneous calls, some evolved into standardized formulae with fixed texts, occasionally with set music.

A ruler’s ascent in the ancient world was often accompanied by acclamations; evidence survives from the Middle East, Greece and Egypt (Klauser). Biblical evidence possibly reflecting practice in the 9th century bce reveals that newly appointed monarchs were saluted with ‘yeḥi ha-melekh!’ (‘Long live the King!’, 1 Samuel x.24). Rulers in antiquity were also greeted with acclamations during royal entrances, especially after victory (1 Samuel xviii.7). The accusers of Daniel and his companions addressed King Nebuchadnezzar with the acclamation ‘O king, live forever’ (...


Birgitta J. Johnson

The oldest and largest black Methodist denomination in the world, with approximately four million members in the United States and abroad. The first independent African American Christian denomination, it was founded by Richard Allen and other former members of St. George’s Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Allen and Absalom Jones had formed the Free African Society in 1787 to protest the rise in discriminatory treatment faced by growing numbers of blacks in the white church. They and other African American ministers were being denied advancement to pastorate positions, and after white church officials tried to physically remove blacks from the gallery during prayer, Allen and other black members walked out of worship. Efforts toward gaining equal treatment and representation in Methodist congregations were ignored or denied, and in 1794 Allen and Jones organized a separate congregation under the Protestant Episcopal Church. Jones was appointed as its first bishop. Allen, however, wanted to remain in the Methodist tradition, so he and part of the group who had left St. George’s founded Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church during that same year....



The second-largest black Methodist denomination, with 1.4 million members in the United States and abroad. The first AMEZ congregation was organized in New York in 1796. Its members were African Americans who left the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church due to rising racial discrimination, especially in worship, from the predominantly white members of the congregation. Similar circumstances had previously led Richard Allen and the black Methodists in Philadelphia to found the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1794. In 1801 the AMEZ denominational charter was established, and in 1821 James Varick was appointed the first bishop. In order to distinguish themselves from the AME Church, the New York group officially added “Zion” to their name in 1848. The Zion Church became known as the “Freedom Church,” with abolitionist members such as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Frederick Douglass, and missionary efforts that emphasized social service and education.

Hymnody was very important in English Methodism and was the main music tradition in Methodist churches of the northern United States in the late 18th century. In ...


John Koegel

(b Puerto Príncipe, Cuba, ?Nov 28, 1844; d Havana, ?Dec 31, 1918). Pianist, music teacher, arranger, conductor, composer, and lawyer of Cuban birth, naturalized American. Born into a prominent family in Puerto Príncipe, Cuba (present-day Camagüey), Agramonte strongly supported the movement for independence from Spain. He studied music and the law in Cuba, Spain, and France. After vocal studies with Enrico Delle Sedie (1822–1907) and François Delsarte (1811–71) at the Paris Conservatory, he immigrated to the United States, settling in New York in 1869, where he remained until after Cuban independence in 1898. He became a US citizen in 1886.

In the 1870s and 1880s, Agramonte taught music at the Academy of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx. In the 1890s he taught with Dudley Buck and William Mason at the Metropolitan College of Music and ran his own School of Opera and Oratorio at his home, teaching singers such as ...


In the Byzantine Divine Liturgy, the equivalent of the alleluia verse of the Roman Mass. According to medieval descriptions of the Byzantine rite, the allēlouïa was preceded by the chanted announcement of the psaltēs: ‘Allēlouïa, a psalm of David’. The psaltēs then sang ‘allēlouïa’ to one of six non-melismatic melodies, followed by the ...


James W. McKinnon and Christian Thodberg

(Latinized form of Heb. halleluyah: ‘praise God’; Gk. allēlouïa)

Chant of the Mass in the Western Church and of the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern Church.

Alleluia, Latin rite

Alleluia, Byzantine rite


Byzantine chant, §8: Florid psalmody: prokeimena, allelouïaria and koinōnika

Gradual (i), §1: Definition

Jeney, Zoltán


Mass, §I, 2(iii): Liturgy and chant: The early medieval Roman-Frankish Mass...


Christian Thodberg

See also, Alleluia

The allēlouïa takes its place in the Divine Liturgy, the Mass of the Orthodox Church, just before the recitation of the Gospel and immediately after the reading from the apostolos (the Epistle). The allēlouïa in fact consists of the singing of the word ‘allēlouïa’ followed by two or three psalm verses (stichoi), the latter known collectively as the allēlouïarion. The following instructions taken from the 12th–13th-century euchologion ET-MSsc 1020 illustrate this:

PSALTĒS: Allēlouïa, a Psalm of David.

DEACON: Attention

And the allēlouïa is sung.

Psaltēs [sings] the allēlouïarion.

People [sing] the allēlouïa.

The first allēlouïa is presumably sung by the psaltēs (the soloist peculiar to the Byzantine liturgy), and is then repeated by the people.

In present-day practice only the word ‘Allēlouïa’ is sung, but the liturgical books still contain the psalm verses belonging to the classical period. Of great musicological interest, however, is the medieval form reflected in the euchologion quoted above. A cycle of 59 ...


James W. McKinnon

See also, Alleluia

The alleluia of the Mass is a Proper chant sung during the Fore-Mass after the gradual (see Gradual) except on liturgical occasions associated with penitence and fasting (most notably during Lent), and on ones associated with sorrow (such as the Requiem Mass), when it may be replaced by the Tract. During Paschal Time, beginning with Low Sunday, the gradual is omitted and two alleluias are sung.

The alleluia is performed in a responsorial manner: first the word ‘alleluia’ is sung, concluding with an extended melismatic flourish – the Jubilus; then a verse (rarely, two or three verses) is chanted in a moderately elaborate setting; and finally the alleluia is repeated. Throughout much of the Middle Ages a cantor intoned the alleluia without its jubilus and the chorus answered with the entire alleluia; one or two cantors sang the verse and the chorus entered for the final word or two (usually concluding with a melisma echoing that of the jubilus); the chorus, finally, repeated the alleluia. Early sources fail to indicate such involvement by the chorus, but it might well be that the chorus performed at least the final repetition of the alleluia....




(Lat.: ‘Life-giving mother of the Redeemer’).

One of the four Marian antiphons retained at the Council of Trent and ordered to be sung at the end of Compline from the first Sunday of Advent to the Purification (2 February). It is now sung as a self-contained item, but originally it preceded and followed the chanting of a psalm or canticle. In the light of recent scholarship, the traditional ascription of the words and music to Hermannus Contractus no longer appears tenable. Of the two melodies in the Liber usualis, only the more elaborate (p.273) appears in medieval chantbooks. This melody, of uncommon beauty and originality, served as the basis for numerous polyphonic compositions during the medieval and Renaissance periods. It appears as the tenor of a number of polytextual motets in the 13th-century Montpellier, Bamberg and Las Huelgas manuscripts. Leonel Power’s Mass Alma Redemptoris mater uses the first half of the melody in each of the movements of the mass as a unifying cantus firmus. In one of Du Fay’s three-voice settings the melody is embellished in the superius; it is assigned to the alto and bass respectively in settings by Ockeghem and Obrecht. Josquin’s two settings show typical contrapuntal ingenuity: in one version the melody is treated in canon between alto and tenor; in the other it is combined in double counterpoint with the ...


Edward Higginbottom

(Lat.: ‘alternately’)

A term commonly used to describe the manner in which alternate sections of certain liturgical items were performed by distinct and normally dissimilar forces. The practice had its roots in the antiphonal psalmody of the early Western church. One of its first characteristic manifestations was in the performance of responsorial chants (e.g. gradual, alleluia) where the soloists (cantores) alternated with the choir (schola) (see Psalm §II, and Responsory, §4). In the organum settings of these texts in the Notre Dame repertory, the soloists sang polyphonically the sections normally reserved for the cantor, while the choir sang its sections in plainchant. Some Renaissance settings of responsorial texts show the same alternation of polyphony with plainchant (e.g. the settings of Audivi vocem de caelo by Taverner and Tallis).

The practice of alternatim, however, was not restricted to liturgical texts that were responsorial in character, nor to the opposition of plainchant to polyphony: psalms, canticles, hymns, sequences and the Ordinary of the Mass were also set in this fashion, one verse alternating with the next; and the alternation of organ with choir, or fauxbourdon with plainchant, rapidly gained currency during the 15th century. The introduction of the organ as a partner in ...


Terence Bailey

[Milanese chant].

A chant repertory associated with Milan and one of only two musical repertories of the Latin Church to have been transmitted integrally in pitch-accurate notation. All the others were supplanted by ‘Gregorian’ chant before being adequately recorded. The survival of the Ambrosian music is due to the enduring importance of Milan, which the Byzantine historian Procopius described as ‘the first city in the West, after Rome’.

For some centuries Ambrosian chant has been confined to Milan, its suburbs, and to certain dependent parishes mainly between the city and Lakes Como and Maggiore to the north. The rite attributed to St Ambrose was centred on Milan, but it was formerly very widely disseminated: according to an Irish monk writing in France in 767, its domain was ‘Italia’, a region that in Ambrose’s day included all 17 Roman provinces of the northern Italian peninsula. There is evidence that the chant was even sung in southern Italy, in regions conquered in the 6th century by the Ostragoths and the Lombards (whose heartland was northern Italy, in Ambrosian territory). Because of the wide distribution of the rite and its associated chant, the term ‘Ambrosian’ is perhaps preferable to ‘Milanese’, even though the role of St Ambrose in the formation of the liturgy bearing his name is no better documented than the part played by St Gregory in ‘Gregorian’ chant....




Geoffrey Chew

revised by Edward Foley and Joseph Dyer

(Heb.: ‘truly’, ‘so be it’; from the root ’mn, ‘to be secure’, or ‘certain’)

A word of affirmation, often employed as a cultic acclamation by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. In the Old Testament ‘Amen’ commonly seals commands, blessings, curses, doxologies, and prayers. While used in non-liturgical settings (1 Kings i.36), it frequently functioned as a ritual response in prayer (Psalm xli.13). Its importance as a cultic response is underlined by texts noting explicitly that the people are to say ‘Amen’ (Psalm cvi.48, 1 Chronicles xvi.36). Evidence for its usage in the Temple is scant, partly because in Temple worship the role of ordinary people, who would usually have added the amen, was limited. Talmudic evidence (Sukkah 51b) shows that the amen was an important response in the later Synagogue, and before the Christian era it may have been included in some Synagogue prayers. Its responsorial role in Jewish domestic prayer before the 1st century ce is firmly established.

The New Testament confirms that ‘Amen’ was a commonly employed response in early Christian worship (...


Dimitri Conomos

In the Byzantine rite, a set of three or four short antiphons to the gradual psalms (verses from Psalms cxix–cxxx and cxxxii) sung at Sunday Orthros . There is a set for each of the eight modes. Although they were compiled in the 8th century, probably by Theodore of Stoudios (c794–7), the oldest surviving melodies are contained in manuscripts from the 10th and 11th centuries and are written in Chartres notation (GR-ATSgreat lavra γ 67; ATSvatopedi 1488; see Byzantine chant, §3, (i), (b) ). These settings provide unique evidence for ancient psalmodic practice and the use of cadence formulae in the Byzantine psalm tones.

L. Tardo: L'ottoecho nei manoscritti melurgici (Grottaferrata, 1935) H.J.W. Tillyard: ‘The Antiphons of the Byzantine Octoechus’, Annual of the British School at Athens, 36 (1935–6), 132–41 H.J.W. Tillyard: The Hymns of the Octoechus, MMB , Transcripta, iii, v (1940–49) O. Strunk: ‘The Antiphons of the Oktoechos’, ...


James W. McKinnon

A reader in the Orthodox Church. His function is to announce the Prokeimenon of the day and to chant the appropriate lessons from the Old Testament or the Epistles (see Ekphōnēsis). The related term ‘anaginōskos’ (Gk.: ‘reader’) already appears in the description by Justin Martyr (dc165) of scripture reading in the Eucharist (...



The word ‘Anglican’ refers primarily to the Church of England, a moderately protestant state church established in 1549, and secondarily to a number of daughter churches founded in former British colonies and other countries around the world. The word ‘Episcopal’ or ‘Episcopalian’ was adopted by churches, such as those in Scotland and the USA, that espoused theological and liturgical principles similar to those of the Church of England but owed no allegiance to it as the English state church.

The term ‘Anglican’ implies recognition of the unique validity, for sacramental purposes, of the apostolic succession, through a hierarchy of bishops, priests and deacons: this belief, along with the use of a prescribed liturgy, distinguishes Anglicans and Episcopalians from most other protestant sects. In the Church of England proper, however, the conduct of public worship is governed by law, with the national legislature (sovereign and parliament) as the ultimate authority; since ...


Nicholas Temperley

See also, Canticle

The Book of Common Prayer uses the word ‘canticle’ only for the Benedicite, but it has become the general term for those psalms and hymns prescribed for daily use in Morning and Evening Prayer, as opposed to the psalms which vary from day to day and from Sunday to Sunday. They are usually known by the Latin form of their opening words:Morning Prayer: Venite (Psalm xcv): daily (1549) (except on Easter Day; 1662) Te Deum (Hymn of St Ambrose): daily except in Lent (1549); daily (1552) Benedicite (Daniel iii.57–88, 56): daily in Lent (1549); alternative to Te Deum (1552) Benedictus (Luke i.68–79): daily (1549) Jubilate (Psalm c): alternative to Benedictus (1552)Evening Prayer: Magnificat (Luke i.46–55): daily (1549) Cantate Domino (Psalm xcviii): alternative to Magnificat (1552) ...