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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 ?
It is not enough to simply intellectualize the "count" and impose preconceived ideas of polyrhythm, improvisation, and call-and-response.
Polyrhythm (several rhythms jangling in the body simultaneously) is addictive.
And it is this rhythm of walking--persisting through the fastest and highest runs of Baraka's soloing--that sounds the polyrhythm of "In the Tradition.
In an 1817 article in the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, the composer, critic, and publisher Hans Georg Nageli predicted a new era of lied composition that would be characterized by "an as of yet unrecognized polyrhythm, so that the rhythm of speech, singing, and playing will be subsumed into a higher artistic whole" (Hans Georg Nageli, "Die Liederkunst," Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung 45 [1817]: 765-66) .
He made the breakthrough in his Horn Trio (1982), which initiated a late-Ligeti style of slantwise classical form, wild polyrhythm (prompted in part by African and Caribbean music and in part by a fascination with how streams of notes could mimic the number crunching of digital processing and fractal mathematics), and estranged harmony, in which unconventional tunings play a part, as they had to a lesser degree before.
This master of polyrhythm, whose remarkable compositions are heavily influenced by French music, has spent the last twenty five years travelling the world with his musical collaborators.
Some of these include the use of call-and-response, polyrhythm, "Arabic" scales and melodic elements of African folk/game songs and drumming rhythms.
Fort Minor - "There They Go" * Mobb Deep - "Shook Ones Part 1" and "Survival of the Fittest" * Big Mama Thorton - "I Smell a Rat" * Jane's Addiction - "Mountain Song" * Roots Manuva - "Too Cold" and "Chin High" * Sixtoo - "Boxcutter Emporium" * DJ Vadim - "Aural Prostitution" * Liquid Liquid - "Cavern" * Bohannon - "Save Their Souls" * Glen Brown and King Tubby - "Version 78 Style" * Eddie Kendricks - "My People Hold On" * Grand Wizard Theodore - "Subway Theme" * Bloc Party - "Helicopter" * Polyrhythm Addicts - "Motion 2000" * Del The Funky Homosapien - "Catch a Bad One" * Eric B and Rakim - "Follow the Leader" * Nina Simone - "Sinner Man" * Rhymefest - "Wanted" * Thomas Rusiak - "Throne of Redemption" * Kasabian - "Club Foot"
Zubi Zuva X, are an acappella trio who verge from Gregorian chant to ethnic music, to doo wop to hardcore screaming, heavily using irregular rhythms and polyrhythm.
Like "Ruby Brown," Hughes's novel Not Without Laughter explores the ways in which economic and social conditions influence the identities of Black women, embodying polyrhythm and resistance.
the latter thereby creating a polyrhythm against the 3/2 melody above it.