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(hōmŏf`ənē), species of musical ensemble texture in which all voice parts move more or less to the same rhythm, in which a listener tends to hear the highest voice as the melody and the lower voices as its accompaniment. This term is also used for a texture comprising a melodic line with chordal accompaniment



a type of many-voiced music characterized by the division of voices into the main voice and accompanying voices. It is primarily in this respect that homophony is different from polyphony, which is based on the equality of voices. The flourishing of homophony, for which the humanist ideas of the Renaissance paved the way, took place in the 17th to 19th centuries. Individualized melody, accompanied by the remaining elementary voices, came to be regarded as the element of music which could most naturally and flexibly convey the richness of human feelings. Homophony became established primarily in the new musical genres (opera, oratorio, cantata, and solos with accompaniment) and in instrumental music. The wide dissemination of homophony in Western European music paralleled the rapid development of harmony in the modern meaning of the term. The development of homophony in the 17th through 19th centuries is conventionally divided into two periods. The first of these (1600–1750) is often designated as the period of the general bass (although the greatest polyphonist composers, J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel, lived and worked at this time). The first half (1750–1825) of the second period (1750–1900) is marked by the further development of homophony in the work of the classical Viennese composers. The developed and polyphonized “accompanying” voices in the symphonies and quartets of W. A. Mozart and L. van Beethoven, in their liveliness and thematic significance, often surpass the contrapuntal lines of the old polyphonists, thereby exceeding the confines of the homophonic style of music. In the early 20th century the development of harmony, fundamental to homophonic forms, attained a point beyond which the connective strength of harmonic relations lost its constructive significance. Therefore, together with the continuing development of homophony (S. S. Prokofiev, M. Ravel, and others), interest in the possibilities of polyphony is growing markedly (B. Bartok, P. Hindemith, I. F. Stravinsky, A. von Webern, D. D. Shostakovich, etc.).


References in periodicals archive ?
In the Early Modern English period homophony of these spelling variants of SHUT with SHIT cannot be doubted as geminated <tt> at that time cannot have possessed any phonetic reality other than /t/, and similarly, the vowel spelling <y> can only have denoted /i/ as the Early Modern English standard possessed no secondary cardinal vowel /y/ anymore.
Generally two such failures are identified; one is boundary misplacement while others can be put down to homophony.
Both the GD and MWD MSS contain cases of graphic interchange based on homophony.
For Universal Fantastic Orientation, 1978, Koller stood in various locations holding a metal sign displaying changing directions and distances (measured in minutes) to the fictional town of "Ufomany" (a pun on the homophony of the Slovak "many," indicating a location, and the English "many," but also on the name of Cicmany, a village and a national heritage site in the former Czechoslovakia).
The fourth voice and the somewhat greater proportion of counterpoint do lend these works a more motet-like character, as Sivec points out, but homophony and careful attention to textual accent remain fundamental; chromaticism is kept firmly in check.
The phonological system of contemporary English, fossilized and rule-governed, warrants a comparatively uniform description of homophony in its lexical (words) and non-lexical (word strings) dimensions alike.
16 'For Irina' (here its British premiere), simple homophony leading into a more energetic variation before scurrying away into the ether.
Just as dhvani works in collaboration with various figurative uses of language, instances of "full speech" in Freud are most often found in slips of the tongue, instances of parapraxis, homophony, metonymy and metaphor (in dreams), mistakes, errors, unintended puns.
Rigorous counterpoint, constructivist devices, canonic puzzles, simple homophony, and everything in between may be present; they may supplement the liturgy, serve as domestic entertainment, or adorn civic ceremonies.
It is plausible that ali theses instances of ma are not cases of homophony, bur diachronically related to the putative lexical noun 'place' grammaticalizing into the different target concepts.
This moment isn't exactly one of homophony, though.
Whether we can deduce from this that small differences of height or tension were one facet of the apparent homophony of the Sumerian writing system is another matter.