Start Encyclopedia69 Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
dictionary -  encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  Polytonality (Greek, ‘in many keys’) is a European musical style which involves the use of several keys at once. Some composers use bitonality (the use of two keys at once, as in Stravinsky\'s Petrushka, which derives harmonic energy from the combination of F sharp—black keys on a keyboard—and C major—white keys). In the 1910s and 1920s, the French composer Darius Milhaud wrote several polytonal works, including a setting of the Oresteia, in parts of which each voice and instrument is in a different key. The effect, in simpler polytonal music (such as Gustav Holst\'s Terzetto in three keys, or Charles Ives\'s chorales in four) is often as if conventional harmony had gone inexplicably awry, in the way that some Cubist paintings look like conventional pictures seen in a distorting mirror. But in the hands of the greatest composers (notably Bartók, Messiaen, Sibelius and Stravinsky), who use polytonality as one component of style and not as a style in itself, the technique produces balanced and expressive results. KMcL

See also diatonicism; tonality.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>


Other Terms : Mirror Phase | Pure Mathematics | Archaism
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About |
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us