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Related to Heterophony: monophony
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The use of pedal points and heterophony is very characteristic for this movement.
The result was a new book, stocked with foreign and often very tangential images, but carefully stitched together and detectable mainly for the heterophony of the material.
Other useful terms are "homophony," "heterophony," and "polyphony." A homophonic relationship between elements in a musical texture contains a foreground melody accompanied by a background of less interest.
93), she was apparently unaware of a long tradition of active congregational singing in unison, in heterophony and in plurivocality.
201-203) he describes the piano part as being "of a linear nature; harmony in the normal sense, is elusive, although organum, heterophony, two-part counterpoint and pedal-tones are important.
He accompanied himself on the bowed lute satar, which, with its rich sympathetic timbre, paraphrases the vocal melody in an elaborated heterophony. Altogether they suggest a musical style that would easily be dismissed by old-school cultural evolutionists as unrefined and unsophisticated, if not primitive and uncivilized.
Manikay are most often sung by several parallel singers in heterophony, but although each singer ostensibly sings the same melody with the same lyrics, their individual performances will almost never be exactly the same.
In reality, every novelistic work is characterized by linguistic superimpositions (including sociolects, idiolects, etc.) and according to Bakhtin, the novel assembles a heterology of discursive types, a heteroglossia of languages, and a heterophony of voices.
Rather, they sing in heterophony around the ideal of a unified melody with their own individuated approaches to timing and lyrics.
Mark DeVoto next takes up in more detail "The Debussy Sound: Colour, Texture, Gesture" with an essay that discusses the typical "heterophony" of Debussy's music, showing how its complication of colors and textures paradoxically functions to "blur the melodic line, but at the same rime to strengthen it with added ornamentation in mixed timbres" (181).
casual speech, in that it may surface as a result of fast-speech processes in sequences, where heterophony operates in slow speech (Sobkowiak 1991: 77-80).