polyphonic

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj polyphonic having two or more independent but harmonically related melodic parts sounding together
    • adj polyphonic of or relating to or characterized by polyphony "polyphonic traditions of the baroque"
    • adj polyphonic having two or more phonetic values "polyphonic letters such as `a'"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Polyphonic Characterized by polyphony; as, Assyrian polyphonic characters.
    • Polyphonic (Mus) Consisting of several tone series, or melodic parts, progressing simultaneously according to the laws of counterpoint; contrapuntal; as, a polyphonic composition; -- opposed to homophonic, or monodic.
    • Polyphonic Having a multiplicity of sounds.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • polyphonic Capable of being read or pronounced in more than one way: said of a written character.
    • polyphonic Consisting of or having many voices or sounds.
    • polyphonic In music: Noting a method of composition or a work in which two or more voice-parts are simultaneously combined without losing their independent character, but with harmonious effect; contrapuntal: opposed on one side to monodic, monophonic, and homophonic, and on another to harmonic: as, a fugue is a polyphonic form of composition
    • polyphonic Noting an instrument which is capable of producing more than one tone at a time, as an organ or a harp. Also polyphonous.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Polyphonic pol-i-fon′ik capable of being read in more than one way: noting a musical composition of two or more parts, each with an independent melody of its own
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. ; poly`s many + sound: cf. F. polyphone,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. polys, many, phōnē, a voice.

Usage

In literature:

What you want is polyphonic music.
"The Wrong Box" by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne
The Old Dear now put a penny in the slot of the polyphone, and winding it up started it playing.
"The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" by Robert Tressell
His polyphonic style and interweaving themes demand close study in order to make the meaning clear.
"Violin Mastery" by Frederick H. Martens
I thoroughly believe in the value of polyphonic music as a mental study; it is a necessity.
"Piano Mastery" by Harriette Brower
Then follows a short Allegro in three-four time, of polyphonic character.
"The Pianoforte Sonata" by J.S. Shedlock
The great Bach infused this into his fugues, the highest manifestation of the contrapuntal, or polyphonic music of old.
"For Every Music Lover" by Aubertine Woodward Moore
The tune "Hursley" is a choice example of polyphonal sweetness in uniform long notes of perfect chord.
"The Story of the Hymns and Tunes" by Theron Brown and Hezekiah Butterworth
Both men went to school to Bach and the polyphonic masters.
"Musical Portraits" by Paul Rosenfeld
Though the whole music is polyphoneous the easy flow of its melodies is hardly ever interrupted except in the highly dramatic moments.
"The Standard Operaglass" by Charles Annesley
The Gloria begins with a triumphant polyphonic chorus accompanied by a spirited symphony for strings.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Part 1, Slice 1" by Various
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In news:

Dorit Chrysler introduces the polyphonic theremin, the latest April Fools' Day innovation from Moog Music.
Matt Walljasper and Myrydd Wells rub noses while waiting to hear Polyphonic Spree perform in the Grand Opening weekend of the Klyde Warren Park over Woodall Rodgers freeway in Dallas, Texas Saturday, October 27, 2012.
Polyphonic Spree cover Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" for "AV Undercover".
Polyphonic Spree @ Webster Hall: May 23, 2012.
The Polyphonic Spree In Concert.
The Polyphonic Spree (with New Fumes and Sweet Lee Morrow) raise all voices at the Duck Room, Friday, May 11.
The Polyphonic Spree at the Duck Room Kate McDaniel.
Vandevander steps back onto the live stage and Polyphonic sounds off in a cool venue.
Polyphonic Spree, the View.
Instead, the tone is consoling, and the overlapping choral parts create a complex and beautiful web of polyphonic sound.
New local tunes, info on that Polyphonic Spree show, and a free Flaming Lips documentary.
A high-energy celebration of polyphonic rhythms, this group unifies four percussion batteries into one distinct voice.
Polyphonic Spree @ Webster Hall: May 23, 2012.
A brief history of the Polyphonic Spree , as told through wardrobe changes: white robes (the uplifting choir of angels on 2002 debut The Beginning Stages of ).
The Polyphonic Spree Hearts You.
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In science:

It belongs to the family of instruments called chordophones (which produce sound from vibrating strings), and allows the soloist to perform complex melodic and polyphonic music pieces in much the same manner as the piano.
Music in Terms of Science
This enables the player to produce properly sounding chords that require complicated fingering for pressing multiple strings simultaneously in polyphonic music playing.
Music in Terms of Science
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