ASAPH, the eponym of the Asaphite gild of singers, one of the hereditary choirs that superintended the musical services of the temple at Jerusalem in post-exilic times.
In some cases a failure to understand his meaning led to curious results; for example, the medieval custom, not uncommon in England, of placing rows of earthenware jars under the floor of the stalls in church choirs, appears to have been an attempt to follow out suggestions raised by Vitruvius as to the advantages of placing bronze vases round the auditorium of theatres.
The of tencited poems attributed to Nezahualcoyotl may not be quite genuine, but at any rate poetry had risen above the barbaric level, while the mention of ballads among the people, court odes, and the chants of temple choirs would indicate a vocal cultivation above that of the instrumental music of drums and horns, pipes and whistles, the latter often of pottery.
Which are Maccabean) belong to the Greek period, forming a collection of sixteen psalms composed for public use by the choirs, especially at the great feasts.
The antiphons are short liturgical forms, sometimes of biblical, sometimes of patristic origin, used to introduce a psalm, The term originally signified a chant by alternate choirs, but has quite lost this meaning in the Breviary.