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Related to polytonality: sprechstimme, tone cluster


Simultaneous use of two or more tonalities in a musical composition.

pol′y·to′nal (-tō′nəl) adj.
pol′y·to′nal·ly adv.


(ˌpɒlɪtəʊˈnælɪtɪ) or


(Music, other) music the simultaneous use of more than two different keys or tonalities
ˌpolyˈtonal adj
ˌpolyˈtonally adv
ˌpolyˈtonalist n


(ˌpɒl i toʊˈnæl ɪ ti)

also pol•y•ton•al•ism

(-ˈtoʊn lˌɪz əm)

the simultaneous use of two or more musical tonalities.
pol`y•ton′al•ist, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.polytonality - music that uses two or more different keys at the same time
music - an artistic form of auditory communication incorporating instrumental or vocal tones in a structured and continuous manner
References in periodicals archive ?
Kavallaris comments on the piece's composition by saying "the piece uses a kind of polytonality and harmonic treatment of the traditional melodies which are drawn out from Cyprus' musical tradition, and besides, the piece follows the strophic character of the traditional songs.
Reilly keeps the explanation to a minimum without failing to touch on the most important issues: polytonality, counterpoint, modulation.
6, a quirky, percussive and mercurial composition that demands not only fierce technical prowess but an incisive understanding of the composer's polytonality, dissonance and chromaticism as it applies to this, the first of his three "War Sonatas.
They are at once in the atmosphere of several tonalities, without polytonality, the composer being free to give predominance to one of the tonalities or to leave the tonal impression unsettled.