Heterophony vs. Polyphony



(music) The simultaneous performance by a number of singers or musicians of two or more versions of the same melody.


(music) Musical texture consisting of several independent melodic voices, as opposed to music with just one voice (monophony) or music with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords (homophony).


An abnormal state of the voice.


The quality of a text of being capable of being read in more than one way.

‘the polyphony of a biblical passage’;


In music, heterophony is a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. Such a texture can be regarded as a kind of complex monophony in which there is only one basic melody, but realized at the same time in multiple voices, each of which plays the melody differently, either in a different rhythm or tempo, or with various embellishments and elaborations.


Multiplicity of sounds, as in the reverberations of an echo.


Plurality of sounds and articulations expressed by the same vocal sign.


Composition in mutually related, equally important parts which share the melody among them; contrapuntal composition; - opposed to homophony, in which the melody is given to one part only, the others filling out the harmony. See Counterpoint.


music arranged in parts for several voices or instruments


Polyphony is a type of musical texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody, as opposed to a musical texture with just one voice, monophony, or a texture with one dominant melodic voice accompanied by chords, homophony. Within the context of the Western musical tradition, the term polyphony is usually used to refer to music of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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