Heterophony

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Heterophony

 

the execution of a Metody by several singers, instrumentalists, or both singers and instrumentalists, during which one or several voices episodically digress from the main Metody. These digressions, often unconscious, may result from differences in the technical possibilities of the voices or instruments or may depend on the fancy of the performers. Supporting voices in many-voiced music are also part of heterophonic music.

Heterophony is sometimes encountered in medieval Western European music and classical music and is especially characteristic of the national music cultures of Africa, Ceylon, Oceania, India, and Indonesia. It is also found in Slavic music. In the music of India and Indonesia heterophony arises in the performance of melodies by many instrumentalists, each of whom varies the Metody in keeping with the technical and expressive possibilities of his instrument. (For example, heterophony is found in music for the gamelan.) In Russian folk music heterophony is combined with polyphonic means of expression.

REFERENCES

Bershadskaia, T. Osnovnye kompozitsionnye zakonomernosti mnogogolosiia russkoi narodnoi krest’ianskoi pesni. Leningrad, 1961.
Grigor’ev, S., and T. Miuller. Uchebnik polifonii. Moscow, 1961.
Adler, G. “Uber Heterophonie.” In the collection Peters Jahrbuch, vol. 15. Leipzig, 1909.

T. F. MIULLER

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