Antiphonal Singing

antiphonal singing. Alternate singing between two or more singers or groups of singers. Examples of antiphonal singing include the seraphim who sing “holy” (Isa. 6:3) as well the Levitical choirs (Ezra 3:11Neh. 12:24). The idea of “responsive” singing comes from Ezra 3:11: “And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord: ‘For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.’ Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” The concept of “alternate” singing comes from Nehemiah 12:24: “And the heads of the Levites were Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers across from them, to praise and give thanks, group alternating with group, according to the command of David the man of God.”

The following is an example of antiphonal singing at IHOP in Kansas City. Notice how the singers’ song and the prayer’s prayer mirror each other.


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