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(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 ?
At the same time, I wanted to try combining accelerations and retardations in my rhythmic vocabulary, in order to produce a constantly hurrying and slowing down kind of tempo, rather than the polyrhythms of most of my previous music.
While each song has a distinctive Spanish tone, the band uses fiery reggae-Latin-grunge polyrhythms with contrastingly cool, dynamic vocals different from traditional Rumba music.
Polyrhythms and Improvisation: Lesson for Women's History.
Cast in six movements and making use of polyrhythms and non-chromatic harmony, the conductor and the orchestra rose to the challenge and its rhythmic complexity for an exciting performance.
So instead of aping African-derived polyrhythms as delivered by Motown, Stax or even The Beatles, The Ramones response was stripped down tracks--short, sharp shocks that spat at the complexity of beat or word.
Bivens's crisp production is the foreground for drummer Tony Providence's impossibly complex polyrhythms and Bryan Dean's rumbling bass lines, without overwhelming or leadening the tracks.
At once deeply human and other-worldly, the songs masterfully engage the power of music to create sacred space for spiritual communion, while complex yet subtle polyrhythms weave a spell around the listener.
The majority of the complex polyrhythms of the Vodun are still more or less secret and difficult to decipher, even for an accomplished musician.
There's a touch of Paul Simon goes to Graceland about them, but playful harmonies, fabulously intricate but disarming polyrhythms, and lovely, lively guitar show the advantage of opening your ears to worldwide musical wonder.
Thus we have saxophonist Sam Rogers, contributing frequent bullish solos, drummer Carl Hemmingsly thrilling with his agile polyrhythms and Tim Amann himself, a composing force, spearheading on acoustic and electric pianos.
Stone's quest resulted in a bounty of rediscovery: perpetual polyrhythms, supersonic melodies, and traditional story-songs of timeless legends.
Topics include identifying white hegemony in the classroom and decentering it, addressing the adaptive unconscious, transforming whiteness through poetry and children's literature, using polyrhythms as metaphors for culture and films as teaching tools, exploding the myth of Canadian multiculturalism through media, conducting educational performance self-assessments, inviting cultural exploration through art, undoing oppressive practice, learning the lessons of Black feminism, and using Mesoamerican pedagogy to deflate whiteness.