Definition of polytonality in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpɒlɪtə(ʊ)ˈnalɪti/


[mass noun]
The simultaneous use of two or more keys in a musical composition.
Example sentences
  • This study has confirmed that indeed, he did develop numerous innovative techniques before his European counterparts, including polytonality, tone-clusters, atonality and polyrhythms, and many others.
  • Satie was in advance of his time with his love of bitonality, polytonality and non-triadic harmony to name but a few of his gravity-breaking techniques.
  • Durey's use of bi- and polytonality is less strident and upfront than Milhaud's, and he mixes it with a plangent lyricism which, despite Durey's avowed intention to forget Ravel, is surely influenced by the latter's quartet of 1903.



Pronunciation: /ˌpɒlɪˈtəʊn(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • His early works embodied polymodal, polytonal neo-classicism, then moved towards atonal chromaticism.
  • Its beautiful sound tapestry was created by a freely flowing association of textures such as polytonal chord clashes, rapid repeated notes, and pedal points.
  • Because of the unusual polytonal nature of the music, I need a lot of definition in the drums.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: poly|ton¦al|ity

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