poly·​rhythm | \ ˈpä-lē-ˌri-t͟həm How to pronounce polyrhythm (audio) \

Definition of polyrhythm

: the simultaneous combination of contrasting rhythms in music

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Other Words from polyrhythm

polyrhythmic \ ˌpä-​lē-​ˈrit͟h-​mik How to pronounce polyrhythmic (audio) \ adjective
polyrhythmically \ ˌpä-​lē-​ˈrit͟h-​mi-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce polyrhythmically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of polyrhythm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There are more layers of vocal melody, more percussion, more polyrhythm, more direct connections to the guitars and horns of African pop, more languages among the lyrics and, of course, enormous soul and annunciatory power in Ms. Kidjo’s voice. Jon Pareles, New York Times, "The Playlist: Kanye West’s Breakout Star 070 Shake, and 10 More New Songs," 8 June 2018 But for her own productions, Ms. Borges mixes these childhood influences with polyrhythms, frantic beats, air horns and elements of genres like trance, European techno, Afro-house and American R&B. Her drums thwack like a bucking bronco. Kate Hutchinson, New York Times, "Nídia Is Bringing the Sound of Lisbon’s Ghettos to the World," 14 June 2018 Like juju, the style popularized by King Sunny Adé, fuji was originally built upon an embarrassment of pulsing polyrhythms shaped on kit drums, congas, bells, shakers, and talking drums, without much else beyond hectoring call-and-response singing. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Acclaimed master of Nigerian fuji music King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal comes to Square Roots Festival," 5 July 2018 Even the vocals are part of the intricate, incessant polyrhythms that make the group’s assault so unforgettable. Kevin Williams, chicagotribune.com, "Flaming Lips part of a tasty, noisy early Taste of Chicago peek," 1 May 2018 His arrangements, with their reverberating acoustics and soft polyrhythms, often evoke bygone Appalachia; his lyrics are mournfully Arcadian in a way that evokes Thoreau. Isaac Feldberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Lord Hurons enter the void on ‘Vide Noir’," 26 Apr. 2018 A half-hour journey through gathering storms of unison drumming, dusty interludes, and bursts of polyrhythms, with Swain’s voice haunting the upper register. Zoë Madonna, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Music that doesn’t satisfy the A.I.’ at Stave Sessions," 15 Mar. 2018 Often, polyrhythms were implied, and then the band quickly started to play outside and around them. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "January in Live Jazz: 5 Standout Shows," 31 Jan. 2018 Saxophone, trombone and violin all tangled as the bass and vibraphone built a dicey polyrhythm underneath. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "30 Years Later, Three Bands From New York’s Downtown Scene Unite for One Night," 12 Dec. 2017

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

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First Known Use of polyrhythm

1908, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for polyrhythm

The first known use of polyrhythm was in 1908

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More from Merriam-Webster on polyrhythm

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polyrhythm

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