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date: 25 July 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers musical texture as an emergent property. The first section shows how the interplay of rhythm and pitch—specifically, degrees of synchrony and similar motion—produces basic textural categories (monophony, homophony, polyphony, and heterophony). These textural types may be transformed or hierarchically combined. The second section further argues that such textural structures are supplemented by textural materials, involving timbre, articulation, dynamics, and so forth. This focus on sound quality suggests a more “tactile” approach, imagining musical texture in terms of embodied performance and instrumental materiality. The third section explores texture’s interaction with large-scale form, musical metaphor, dramatic meaning, and social values. Throughout, the chapter mixes perceptual principles and theoretical formalization with analytical comments on diverse repertoire.

Keywords: texture, polyphony, auditory streaming, timbre, performance

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