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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Insight and proficiency enable her to apply the melodic forms, harmonic colour and rhythmic figures in a variety of specifically musical ways with, for example, cross-rhythms and counterpoint.
The restless cross-rhythms in the second part led to a furious depiction of storms in which choral voices were also used as instruments to add to the drama.
Counter-rhythms, syncopation, cross-rhythms, all kinds of movement she found to choreograph that was inherent in the song.
He is, like most good choreographers, extraordinarily prolific, and in some lesser works he seemed to be tied down to the metric measure of the music, eschewing the finer possibilities of dance rubato and even internal cross-rhythms. Yet he is usually deft in matching the mood of the music, always showing marked architectonic invention with his exits and entrances.
Why not join in the fun making musical instruments from recycled materials, experimenting with sounds and decorating instruments, learning basic and cross-rhythms and taking part in a group performance?
[1] Harrison had become interested in advanced rhythmic issues during the 1930s; in particular he was concerned with cross-rhythms, which he conceived of as "transferring rhythmic patterns into other lengths of time.
5, `Ein Jammerton', and affective dotted largo of `Zerknisse du mein blodes Herze' (no.37) to the dancing syncopations of `Ein heiBer Durst' or the triplet/dotted-duplet cross-rhythms of the aria `Aus Gnaden stellt sich Jesus off', both from no.26.
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.
His concerts are lengthy, irresistible groove-alongs-outside of the Meters and certain of James Brown's backing bands, Fela's Egypt 80 (formerly Afrika 70) probably packs the world's most terrifying collection of beats and the blariest foghorn sax section since the bands that produced New Orleans classics like "Sea Cruise." His songs, which usually ride slogan like lyrics over a densely woven web of cross-rhythms, have titles like "Beasts of No Nation" (which deals with the way various governments abet South African repression) and "Just Like That" (a sneeringly witty list of Nigeria's current shortcomings).
With its ceaseless semiquavers, superhuman octaves, forests of chromaticisms, and conflicting cross-rhythms, this was thoroughly exhilarating, and a demonstration that Donohoe's technique has such thoroughbred robustness that no music seems to hold any fears for it.
Daniel Wood's four-minute arrangement of the Ukrainian Bell Carol for Horn Quartet is not merely a rewrite of the four-part traditional Christmas song "Carol of the Bells" (which lasts only eighty seconds when repeated) - it is a unique, imaginative, and virtuosic new composition that features wonderfully crafted, creative bell tone figures, fast tempos, intensifying harmonies and modulations, syncopations, and cross-rhythms, as well as significant dynamic, style, texture, and color contrasts.
The Coull String Quartet will engage in Joe's composition Ping, creating intricate cross-rhythms between table tennis players, string quartet and soundtrack.