Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Don't kiss me...I've got MONOphonic

Monophonic music is one of the simplest forms of music. It is a melody line
without harmony, or a written accompaniment. Non-Western folk music is commonly considered monophonic, even if there is an improvised accompaniment or a drone accompaniment.
According to Grove Music Online “The term [monophony] is contrasted with Polyphony (music in two or more independent parts), Heterophony (the simultaneous sounding of a melody or line and a variation of it) and Homophony (which implies rhythmic similarity in a number of parts).”
Monophonic music is a single line of music, without other voices.
Examples of monophonic music include Plainsong, Trouvere, Troubadour, Minnesinger, Meistersinger, Cantiga, and Lauda.
The word comes from the Greek monos which means single and phone which means voice.
Thanks to The New Harvard Dictionary of Music editor Don Randal, 4th ed. “Monophonic,” for helping me with the definition of this term.