Many composers choose to use different textures within one piece of music/song. Video lessons, worksheets and EXCLUSIVE CONTENT. This type of homophonic texture is technically known as homorhythmic because all of the rhythms of the accompaniment match the rhythms of the lead melody line. I have added the shaded lines to show clearly where the different parts enter. You can see from the diagram below that an accompaniment (green shading) has been added underneath the melody (blue line) to form a homophonic texture: In a strictly homophonic texture, the parts or voices move “in step” with one another rather than having contrasting rhythms. However, you will often hear monophonic singing in informal settings like contemporary sports matches where the crowd is singing in unison. Heterophonic music is where a melody is varied by an additional voice/part at the same time as the original melody is being played. Have a look/listen to this example of polyphony – O magnum mysterium by Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611). This texture contains two distinct lines, the lower sustaining a constant pitch or tone (often described as a droning sound), with the other line creating a more elaborate melody above it. It can be thick or thin, shiny or dull, rough or smooth. Heterophony is characteristic of many forms of non-Western music, like the Gamelan music of Indonesia or Japanese Gagaku. In this form, whilst the accompanying parts do not follow the same rhythms as the lead melody line, their overall purpose is to provide an underlying harmony and accompaniment to the melody. This brings us to our next texture: The definition of homophony comes from the Greek (homo-phonic), literally meaning “same-sounding”. The definition of monophonic music is taken from the Greek (mono-phonic), literally meaning “one sound”. Have a listen to this version of Silent Night by the acapella group Pentatonix: Many modern hymn tunes are homophonic and homorythmic. This musical texture refers to the use of two or more melodic lines, which are distinct from each other. There are four music textures that you need to understand: In this lesson we will look at definitions and explanations for each musical texture in turn. The French chanson, a polyphonic song that was originally for two to four voices, is an example. These four textures appear in music from around the world. As a result, they are often considered to be forming a “same-sounding” texture – hence they can be considered to be homophonic. During the Baroque period, music became homophonic, meaning it was based on one melody with harmonic support coming from a keyboard player. Espie Estrella is a lyricist, songwriter, and member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. Learn how texture is used in a composition and how these layers are related: These types of compositions are distinguished by the use of a single melodic line. Biphonic texture is also found in contemporary pop musical compositions like Donna Summer's "I Feel Love". Have a look/listen to this example of heterophony from J.S. Types of Musical Textures People often struggle to find the right words to describe musical texture and so you will often hear people describing the texture of a piece of music as being “thin” if there are not very many instruments playing and “thick” if there are lots of instruments playing. Perotinus Magister (also called Perotin the Great) is believed to be one of the first composers to use polyphony in his compositions, which he wrote in the late 1200s. on Twitter Please check your email inbox for a confirmation email to access the FREE resources.. we respect your privacy and will never share your email address with 3rd parties. Subscribe to our mailing list and get FREE music resources to your email inbox. We also use the word texture in a similar manner when describing the particular combination of tempo, melody, and harmony in a piece of music. After 38 seconds, the other vocalists join in singing various different vocal and percussive parts – the texture has become more complex, but it is still broadly homophonic. Fabric is just one of many materials we describe as having a texture. Plainchant doesn't use any instrumental accompaniment. Whilst this is technically true, it is a very basic description and we need to try to be a bit more detailed in the language we use to describe texture in music. It was around the year 600 when Pope Gregory the Great (also known as Pope Gregory 1) wanted to compile all the different types of chants into one collection. It describes music where several parts or voices are combined together contrapuntally or in counterpoint. There are four types of textures that appear in music, Monophony, Polyphony, Homophony, and Heterophony. In this broadened definition of homophony, most contemporary pop songs that have a melody and accompaniment could be considered to be homophonic. Have a listen to this example of Lady Gaga performing the National Anthem at the Superbowl: In this example a piano has been added to the solo vocal line so it is clearly not monophonic. A well-known composer of medieval monophonic songs was the 13th-century French monk Moniot d'Arras, whose themes were both pastoral and religious. The 4 different textures that I am going to explain will help you describe what each of the different parts are contributing to the overall sound. on Facebook Melody and Accompaniment was used a lot in the Classical period and is also very common in contemporary popular music.