Musical texture refers to the number of layers that is heard when an individual listens to a musical piece. There are three main types of musical textures in music. They are monophonic texture, polyphonic texture and homophonic texture.
Monophonic Texture – The word “mono” means one or single. Therefore we hear monophonic texture when a person sings alone without accompaniment or background music. So we can say that monophonic texture is heard when a single melodic line is performed without accompaniment. When an individual plays a saxophone or any other wind instrument alone, the single melody played by the instrument can be described as monophonic texture.
Polyphonic Texture – The word “poly” means many. One has to be careful when explaining the term polyphonic texture. Polyphonic texture is produced when more than one melody line is used in a particular musical piece. Remember that a melody is a series of notes that is played one after the other to form the tune of a song. Therefore, when polyphonic texture is been produced there are more than one melody that is present in the musical piece. Sometimes each melody begins at different bar or on different beat of the music and sometime they are performed simultaneously (at the same time). A “round” is an ideal example of what polyphonic texture is. Rounds are great activities that can be used to illustrate polyphonic texture but you can also hear polyphonic texture when more than one person sings two different melody lines at the same time. For example – one person singing the song “Mary had a little lamb” while another sings “London Bridge” at the same time.
Homophonic Texture – Homophonic texture is heard when a main melody is done but is been accompanied by chords played by musical instruments or produced by voices. So when an individual sings a song which is accompanied by the piano or guitar then homophonic texture is formed. Homophonic texture is the most popular of all the different types of texture, especially in modern or contemporary music. Homophonic texture is dominant and is most popular in musical genres such as Reggae, R&B, Souls and Rock. These musical genres have one thing in common; they have lead singers singing melodic lines that are accompanied by a band. It is as simple as that. So homophonic texture is heard everyday in this modern age.
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