Definition of polyphony in English:

polyphony

Line breaks: pol¦yph|ony
Pronunciation: /pəˈlɪf(ə)ni
 
/

noun (plural polyphonies)

[mass noun] Music
  • 1The style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other: his love affair with 16th-century English polyphony
    More example sentences
    • The combination of melodies in polyphony, one of the great artistic achievements of medieval Europe, has produced the need for a more specialized explanation of melody in Western music.
    • What surprised me was that a group from the opera chorus, joined by some students, wanted to give a whole concert of Renaissance polyphony, a style of music which the Russians never fostered.
    • Messiaen's almost Pentecostal polyphony not only makes us hear traditional melodies with new ears, it also makes us return to nature and listen to those sounds with a deeper spiritual understanding.
  • 1.1 [count noun] A composition written, played, or sung in polyphony.
    More example sentences
    • My favourite part is the quintet; it is a heavenly polyphony.
    • This particularly brilliant and beautiful instrument illuminates the most complex orchestral and choral polyphonies of Bach and Handel.
  • 1.2The ability of an electronic keyboard or synthesizer to play a number of notes simultaneously: the polyphony is a standard 32-voice
    More example sentences
    • In effect, your keyboard can now be played with polyphony (simultaneous sounds) as high as the number of channels selected for Jazz Edit mode.
    • Using two iterations, I had nine polyphonic instruments up and running, with polyphony occasionally spilling over 100 notes simultaneously.
    • If you expect to exceed the polyphony limits of your keyboard with any regularity, check out what it does when you push the envelope.

Derivatives

polyphonist

noun
More example sentences
  • With his teacher, Palestrina, Victoria was regarded as one of the greatest polyphonists of the age, his music renowned for its individual colour and dramatic vigour.
  • Concert FM's coverage of the Arts Festival continues with this Flemish ensemble that brings to life music from the Golden Age of the polyphonists in the Low Countries.

polyphonous

adjective
More example sentences
  • So the aim is not to do without language, but to multiply its styles and to find ways of players of different language games to create huge, polyphonous, cacophonous, callipygous symphonies.
  • He is valuable only in underlining the need for Scotland to desist from its love for the underwhelming underdog and embrace the polyphonous diversity and universality of jazz, wherever it may reside.
  • Hukkle doesn't have any dialogue, but the rustle of everyday existence is turned up extra loud until everything seems to be asserting its frequency in the polyphonous drone of the phenomenal world.

Origin

early 19th century: from Greek poluphōnia, from polu- 'many' + phōnē 'sound'.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody