In music, homophony (pron.: /hɵˈmɒfəni/; Greek: ὁμόφωνος, homóphōnos, from ὁμός, homós, "same" and φωνή,phōnē, "sound, tone") is a texture in which two or more parts move together in harmony, the relationship between them creating chords. This is distinct from polyphony, in which parts move with rhythmic independence, and monophony, in which all parts (if there are multiple parts) move in parallel rhythm and pitch. A homophonic texture is alsohomorhythmic (or uses a "very similar rhythm"). However, in melody-dominated homophony, one voice, often the highest, plays a distinct melody, and the accompanying voices work together to articulate an underlying harmony.Initially, in Ancient Greece, homophony indicated music in which a single melody is performed by two or more voices inunison or octaves, i.e. monophony with multiple voices. Homophony as a term first appeared in English with Charles Burney in 1776, emphasizing the concord of harmonized melody. -------------------------------------------------
European and German music
While homophony can be heard in nearly all European musical traditions, the first notated examples appeared during the Medieval periodin dance music, such as the Estampie. However, because manuscript was expensive to produce, there is little record of Medieval homophony, most notated music being monophonic. There was similarly little record of homophony during the Renaissance period. Homophony first appeared as one of the predominant textures in Western music during the Baroque period in the early 17th century, when composers began to commonly compose with vertical harmony in mind, the homophonic basso continuo becoming a definitive feature of the style. The choral arrangement of four voices (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) has since become common in Western music. Homophony began by appearing in sacred music, replacing polyphony and monophony as the dominant form, but spread to secular music, for which it...
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