Polymetry

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polymetry

 

in music, the simultaneous use of two or more meters. As the vertical joining of two to three different time signatures, polymetry is occasionally encountered in music of the 18th-19th centuries. It is more often found in 20th-century music. Polymetry occurs in the ball scene from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, where the composer combines three dance meters. A typical feature of I. F. Stravinsky’s music is motif polymetry— the vertical combination of motifs that have different meters but are written in the same time signature.

V. N. KHOLOPOVA


Polymetry

 

in versification, the use of different verse meters within a single work. Known since ancient times, polymetry was extensively used in baroque and romantic poetry; it has also been used in 20th-century poetry. It is usually found in long narrative poems in which a given meter is maintained throughout a thematically unified part of the work and is changed at the transition to another part; examples are N. A. Nekrasov’s Contemporaries and A. A. Blok’s The Twelve. Polymetry is less common in short poems, where it has been used by such poets as V. V. Mayakovsky and V. Khlebnikov.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Undeniably, this is in part due to the intricate problems inherent to the translation of the comedias: the three unities rule, register, polymetry, long monologues and lexicon, etc., as well as the recurrent motifs of the genre, that is, the conception of monarchy, love (with its fussy attitude towards sex) (2) and, of course, honour.
Snead in fact notes the centrality of the trope of repetition in black literature and culture, which beyond marking polymetry, also enacts history with "the precision of ritual." In Snead's words, "Repetition in black culture finds its most characteristic shape in performance: rhythm in music, dance and language" (220).