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in music, the simultaneous use of different tonalities or keys. Bitonality—the use of two different tonalities —is the most common type of polytonality.

In practice, two monotonal lines with independent functional systems and cadences are rarely combined. As a rule, polytonality means the simultaneous use only of the chords of different tonalities. The classic example, the “Petrushka chord” in Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka, combines the tonic of C major and that of F sharp major. Like other chords of this type, the Petrushka chord is strongly dissonant and dramatic. It is used as the “leading harmony” with which Petrushka is identified. Polytonality, one of the elements of the contemporary modal-harmonic system, has been widely used by D. Milhaud, B. Bartok, and other 20th-century composers.


References in periodicals archive ?
The Grand Waltz Macabre sets the scene for the gruesome vocal line that uses the motif (F-F#-D-D#, the pattern recurring at various pitches) in bitonality against the piano.
In Example 5, this concept is shown in a piece by Robert Starer entitled Black and White, which places the bitonality directly in the key signature.
131, Open the door, features bitonality most of the time: the right hand in D major, the left hand in B minor/major and G major.
Inevitably we are reminded of other creators: Tippett, Schreker, Mozart of Die Zauberflote in the psychological subtext; Holst for the liberating bitonality so expressive of emotional release; Richard Strauss for the combination of straightforward diaton icism and alluring chromaticism, for the climactic voluptuaries' dance straight out of Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils, and for the Nietzchean superman paean to the sun so celebrated in Also Sprach Zarathustra; and, most spectacularly, Wagner, whose Tr istan und Isolde encapsulates so much of these ideas, and whose Act III anticipates the ruined landscape and despairing hero.
Other pieces employ counterpoint, bitonality, modality, and other unusual contemporary sonorities.
Falla's so-called "theory of resonance--harmonic development through the derivation and juxtaposition of harmonic aggregates called "superpositions"--was not only applied by Rodolfo in his polytonal phase, but blatantly assumed a prominent position in some of his dodecaphonic writing when he combined bitonality with a liberal usage of the twelve-tone technique.
In the other, Daniel Harrison attempts to elevate the theory and analysis of bitonality to a new level of sophistication.
Despite the frequent use of parallel harmonies, often moving chromatically, expanded sonorities (seventh and ninth chords), persistent pedals and drones and short passages of bitonality, created by the frequent discrepancy between the tropos of the folk melody and the accompaniment, the cadences of each movement clearly are linked to the underlying tropos.
The Agnus Dei, for piano and strings only, opens with the D/A fifth of the Introitus and contains some of the most lyric writing of the work, full of sumptuous bitonality and singing lines.
From Greene's collection, "Waltz for a Distracted Sole" features bitonality and surprising meter changes within a traditional waltz context.
The harmony of the Ouverture is predominantly tonal, seasoned with bitonality and quartal harmony.
There is also discussion on layering textures through the use of bichords, bitonality, and polymodality, often closely related to folk elements.