monophony

monophony
/meuh nof"euh nee/, n., pl. monophonies.
1. a musical style employing a single melodic line without accompaniment.
2. monody (def. 3a).
[1885-90; MONO- + -PHONY]

* * *

Music consisting of a single unaccompanied melodic line.

The concept often also includes melody that is accompanied by a drone or by drumming. Gregorian chant and Byzantine chant constitute the oldest written examples of monophonic repertory.

* * *

music
      musical texture made up of a single unaccompanied melodic line. It is a basic element of virtually all musical cultures. Byzantine (Byzantine chant) and Gregorian chants (Gregorian chant) (the music of the medieval Eastern and Western churches, respectively) constitute the oldest written examples of monophonic repertory. In the later Middle Ages in Europe, the primarily secular songs of Provençal troubadours, French trouvères, and German minnesingers and meistersingers kept the tradition alive, although their performances often featured improvised accompaniment.

      Monophony is not to be confused with monody, a term reserved specifically for the accompanied solo song of the early 17th century, the so-called second practice initiated by the Florentine Camerata and perfected by the composer Claudio Monteverdi in a conscious effort to break with the vocal polyphony of the Renaissance era. Ironically, it was sacred polyphony in its highest manifestations (as by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina) that modeled itself aesthetically upon the monophony of the Roman Catholic church with its continuous melodic rhythmic flow untainted by metrical intrusions of secular derivation.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • monophony — [mə näf′ə nē] n. [ MONO + PHONY] 1. music having a single melody without accompaniment or harmonizing parts, as in plainsong 2. MONODY …   English World dictionary

  • Monophony — This article is about the musical texture. For the feature of synthesizers, see Monosynth. Pop Goes the Weasel melody[1] …   Wikipedia

  • monophony — monofonija statusas T sritis radioelektronika atitikmenys: angl. monophony vok. Monophonie, f rus. монофония, f pranc. monophonie, f …   Radioelektronikos terminų žodynas

  • monophony — noun Date: circa 1890 monophonic music …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Monophony — (adj. Monophonic)    A musical texture of a single voice, one pitch at a time. By definition, all such music is unharmonized. Men and women or boys singing in octaves is usually considered monophonic.    See also Chant; Counterpoint; Homophony;… …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • monophony — mo·noph·o·ny …   English syllables

  • monophony — mo•noph•o•ny [[t]məˈnɒf ə ni[/t]] n. pl. nies mad a musical style employing a single melodic line without accompaniment • Etymology: 1885–90 …   From formal English to slang

  • monophony — /məˈnɒfəni/ (say muh nofuhnee) noun a musical style consisting of a single line of melody without accompaniment. {mono + phony} …   Australian-English dictionary

  • monophony — noun music consisting of a single vocal part (usually with accompaniment) • Syn: ↑monophonic music, ↑monody • Ant: ↑polyphonic music (for: ↑monophonic music), ↑polyphony …   Useful english dictionary

  • Native American music — American Indian music is the music that is used, created or performed by Native North Americans, specifically traditional tribal music. In addition to the traditional music of the Native American groups, there now exist pan tribal and inter… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”