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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 ?
Founded in 2010, the instrumental Polyrhythmics is known for its musical prowess and for producing tight, danceable music that easily accomplishes the band's goal to get the audience to "occupy the dance floor."
The big events aren't finished for Polyrhythmics. The band anticipates releasing its third album, "Octagon," on Nov.
Billed as a Phish after-party, the venue is hosting the funky, horn-driven world beat band Polyrhythmics.
The Main Stage features performers such as Circus Luminescence today and Sunday, and Polyrhythmics on Sunday.