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LearnMusicTheory.net High-Yield Music Theory, Vol. 1: Music Theory Fundamentals
Section 5.1
TEXTURE
Harmonic
analysis
Texture
Texture types
Monophonic
texture,
Unison
Polyphonic
texture
IN
MUSIC
Harmonic analysis is the analysis of chords in musical context.
Understanding texture makes harmonic analysis much easier. Texture is
the way harmonies, melodies, rhythms, and timbres (=sound qualities
such as different instrument sounds) relate to create the overall effect of a
piece of music. The four common texture types are monophonic,
polyphonic, homophonic, and heterophonic.
Monophonic texture includes only a single melody line. If more than one
musician plays the same melody together, this is called playing in unison.
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Polyphonic texture consists of two or more independent melody lines:
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Homophonic
texture
Homophonic texture consist of a primary melody line with
accompaniment. Various accompaniment types are possible, including
homorhythmic, blocked-chord, and arpeggiated accompaniments (Alberti
bass or broken chord).
Homophonic:
Homorhythmic
accompaniment
Homorhythmic accompaniments (also called chorale texture) have the
same rhythm as the melody line. Slight variations in rhythm are possible.
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Chapter 5: Introduction to Harmonic Analysis
Homophonic:
Blocked chord
accompaniment
Blocked chord accompaniments state the notes of each chord
simultaneously using a repeated rhythmic pattern. One variation of
blocked chord homophonic texture is the oompah accompaniment.
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œœœœ
Homophonic:
Albert bass
accompaniment
61
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"Oompah" variation:
"Oom"
"pah"
An arpeggio states the notes of a chord one after another; arpeggiated
accompaniments state the notes of the harmony one at a time. One
common type of arpeggiated accompaniment, Alberti bass, uses a lowhigh-mid-high pattern (common in music of the late 1700s):
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low high mid high low high mid high low high mid high low high mid high
Homophonic:
Broken chord
accompaniment
A second type of arpeggiated accompaniment, broken chord style, uses a
low-to-high and/or high-to-low order for the notes:
Heterophonic
texture
Heterophonic textures consist of multiple performers playing or singing a
single melody all at once, each adding their own subtle variations. This
texture is common in some musics of India and Africa as well as some
types of jazz.
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