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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The approach to music is identical: rhythm, polyrhythm, call and response." (33) Weston's opinion of the importance of African music does not end with Latin America, the Caribbean, and African America.
These "rhythms of reciprocity" are the matrix of the Ringshout Aesthetic, for it is the polyrhythms that articulate a philosophical system of balance and reciprocity between a range of seeming dichotomies that include amongst others, the individual and the collective, the old and new world; the sacred and the secular, the oral and the written; the intellectual and the spiritual; the living, the dead and the unborn.
This newest undertaking, however, posed several immediate practical concerns, foremost among which was whether the ensemble could grasp the polyrhythm between reong and gangsa parts.
GLOBALLY recognised for his technical DJ-ing skills and famed for his work as the Jigmastas, Polyrhythm Addicts and various productions with solemusic, Rawkus and Nervous to name but a few, Spinna returns to Glasgow next Sunday night, to the Buddaclub.
There is no extreme chromaticism here, and little of the nervous syncopation and complex polyrhythm found in some of Castro's other songs - suavity and continuity prevail in these fluent, gently-moving readings.
In addition, I use the piano as a percussion instrument to superimpose harmonic and melodic rhythmic displacement, syncopation, and polyrhythm accentuations within the orchestration, which categorizes rhythmic functionality within different jazz devices and instrumentations.
The rhythmic movement is that of a gentle lullaby with a prominent floating two versus three polyrhythm. Various bell tolls are heard both high and low, single and ornamented, and the song ends very gently with a high tinkling bell figure.
George-Graves lapses into French ballet terms and meaningless vocabulary (what, exactly, is an "African kick"?) and rarely conveys how Zollar manipulates space and polyrhythm. Throughout her career, critics writing about Zollar have been able to distill her work in vivid, insightful, and appreciative language, so it's odd, to say the least, that George-Graves rarely quotes their descriptive passages.
Recently I stumbled upon a new (for me) way to strengthen my multiple tonguing skills, odd-meter counting, and polyrhythm comprehension.
Little wonder, then, that Fehr and Ruhr's most recent project, Polyrhythm Technoir, 2014-, abandons the art world, looking elsewhere to find the political agency for which the art-student voices in The Production Line of Happiness seem to pine.