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polyrhythm

[pol-ee-rith-uh m] /ˈpɒl iˌrɪð əm/
noun, Music.
1.
the simultaneous occurrence of sharply contrasting rhythms within a composition.
Origin
1925-1930
1925-30; poly- + rhythm
Related forms
polyrhythmic, adjective
polyrhythmically, adverb
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for polyrhythm

polyrhythm

/ˈpɒlɪˌrɪðəm/
noun
1.
(music) a style of composition in which each part exhibits different rhythms
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for polyrhythm
n.

1911, probably a back formation from polyrhythmic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for polyrhythm

cross-rhythm

the simultaneous combination of contrasting rhythms in a musical composition. Rhythmic conflicts, or cross-rhythms, may occur within a single metre (e.g., two eighth notes against triplet eighths) or may be reinforced by simultaneous combinations of conflicting metres. The latter effect is characteristic of numerous non-Western musical forms (e.g., Indonesian gamelan) and of certain Western, especially American, compositions

Learn more about cross-rhythm with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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25
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