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polyphony


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(Gr.).

Many sounds. Mus. in which several simultaneous v. or instr. parts are combined contrapuntally, as opposed to monophonic mus. (single melody) or homophonic mus. (one melodic line, the other parts acting as acc.). In historical terms, polyphonic era is defined as 13th–16th cents., but polyphony survived beyond 1700.


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