(redirected from Cross-rhythm)
Also found in: Dictionary.



(cross rhythm), in music, the simultaneous use of two or more different rhythmic patterns. In general, “polyrhythm” means the combining of any rhythmic patterns. It was the norm for European polyphonic music, beginning with the 12th-century motet. In this general sense, polyrhythm includes the simplest rhythmic combinations (for example, quarter notes in one voice and eighth notes in the other), as well as compound rhythmic combinations, which are defined as polymetry.

In a specialized sense, polyrhythm is the vertical combination of rhythmic patterns characterized by the absence of the smallest unit of time common to all voices (for example, a combination of duplets and triplets, or triplets and quintuplets). This type of polyrhythm is characteristic of works by Chopin, Scriabin, A. Webern, and A. Berg.


References in periodicals archive ?
It is an incredible development, the use of computerized electronic instruments to create polyrhythms - and not just simple backbeats, but complex cross-rhythms of "found" (sampled) and "created" (programmed) sounds, creatively patched together like an aural quilt of musical scraps turned into a magic carpet of head-bopping motion.
The result is unashamedly folksy, but with distinctive indigenous Mersey cross-rhythms and harmonies.
Ligatures can indicate a concern for rhythmic groupings and cross-rhythms or text grouping.
Huang also includes cross-rhythms, syncopated rhythms and an array of standard meters.
The ballet itself with all its cross-rhythms and formal intricacies is a subtler, and I feel more satisfying, evocation of Petipa grandeur than Balanchine's Theme and Variations.
This sound-image of a Mayan sacrificial dance brings to the fore a phalanx of 11 percussionists pounding away on exotic instruments in orgiastic cross-rhythms, whooping in intoxicated abandonment - but in reality brilliantly controlled under Dudamel's energetic direction.
146) is farfetched, and the attribution of syncopation to an African tradition of cross-rhythms is simplistic at best, inaccurate at worst.
Seven fit young people start by sweeping the stage in complex cross-rhythms and go on to explore the percussive potential of a succession of household items including, literally, the kitchen sink complete with water.
Weisberg does not shy way from these either, and provides the same careful, step-by-step method for reducing difficult cross-rhythms to their least common denominators.
The band's sound was both quintessentially Nymanesque (creating the impression of lush, romantic harmony in the middle movement) and a perfect foil for the singers' colour, the cross-rhythms in faster sections particularly effective.
Texture changes from sections where it thins to a single line, to dense areas of three-part counterpoint with cross-rhythms created by triplet-quadruplet and quadruplet-sextuplet juxtapositions.
We had continually to remind ourselves that there were only two hands playing, supported by resourceful pedalling, to encompass all these multilayered textures and cross-rhythms.