Polytonality


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Polytonality: sprechstimme, tone cluster

Polytonality

 

in music, the simultaneous use of different tonalities or keys. Bitonality—the use of two different tonalities —is the most common type of polytonality.

In practice, two monotonal lines with independent functional systems and cadences are rarely combined. As a rule, polytonality means the simultaneous use only of the chords of different tonalities. The classic example, the “Petrushka chord” in Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka, combines the tonic of C major and that of F sharp major. Like other chords of this type, the Petrushka chord is strongly dissonant and dramatic. It is used as the “leading harmony” with which Petrushka is identified. Polytonality, one of the elements of the contemporary modal-harmonic system, has been widely used by D. Milhaud, B. Bartok, and other 20th-century composers.

IU. N. KHOLOPOV

References in periodicals archive ?
s creative output spanned and deeply affected the entire development of modern music, from impressionism to neoclassicism and from tonality to polytonality and atonality.
Reilly keeps the explanation to a minimum without failing to touch on the most important issues: polytonality, counterpoint, modulation.
Perhaps Milhaud's music seems less full of character because of his use of polytonality.
In these sonatas, Jean combines traditional formal sonata form with polytonality, a bonding of major and minor triad forms.
He was a pioneer of polytonality and polymodality from the early 1900s onwards, besides being a master contrapuntist whose idol was J.
Four years later Arnold wrote Variations on a Ukrainian Folk Song, again mostly reflective in style, alternating between meandering slow variations and bursts of Prokofievan polytonality in the louder fast ones.
But his predilection for polytonality and strong, albeit irregular rhythms gives his music its particular Oriental-Eastern-European flavor" (Notes in the score).
Delage experimented with polytonality against lively Spanish rhythms in "Sobre las olas;" the song was dedicated to Darius Milhaud, who frequently used polytonality in his music.
Technical hurdles become more strenuous, especially when rhythmic displacement, chromaticism, and polytonality (in addition to straightforward virtuosity) help shape the contemporary character of the variations.
The autodidact Rodolfo received some counsels from Falla in the 1920s in Spain and with Arnold Schoenberg in Barcelona in 1932, to the extent that he converted early in his career from atonality to polytonality.