het·​er·​oph·​o·​ny ˌhe-tə-ˈrä-fə-nē How to pronounce heterophony (audio)
plural heterophonies
: independent variation on a single melody by two or more voices

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The same motifs are often played simultaneously at different speeds — a technique called heterophony — which subtly reinforces the dramatic narrative. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Oct. 2021 His 1920s recordings with the Red Hot Peppers reached the peak of the New Orleans style of group embellishment and collective improvisation, with its trademark heterophony and polyphony. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heterophony.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Greek heterophōnia diversity of note, from heter- + -phōnia -phony

First Known Use

1919, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heterophony was in 1919

Dictionary Entries Near heterophony

Cite this Entry

“Heterophony.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heterophony. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

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