Texture in Music

Texture in Music

Just like you can tell a cloth by its feel and texture, music too, can be recognized by the presence of various individual musical pieces in a single combination. Varied combinations decide the texture of that musical piece. Read this article to know what exactly is the texture of a musical piece.
All good music resembles something. Good music stirs by its mysterious resemblance to the objects and feelings which motivated it. - Jean Cocteau
One of the most essential aspects of music is its 'texture'. It is concerned with the different elements present in a certain music piece. In simple words, texture is the number of voices and sounds present in a music piece and their coordination. It is the manner in which aspects like melody, rhythm, and harmony are blended together in a piece. Typically, words such as thin, thick, rough, and smooth are used to denote the type of texture. It is very significant for a choir conductor to know all components of music texture and construction. Music has a thin structure if just one melody is present, but gradually becomes thick as instruments and voices add up to the composition. Knowing such things is important in orchestration.
Types of Textures
Monophonic
A music piece having a monophonic texture would have just a single melodic line with no other accompaniment, except in some cases. For instance, monophonic textures can be a person whistling a tune, a song sung by a group without musical instruments, or a group of fifes playing an identical tune.
Homophonic
A homophonic texture contains just one main prominent melodic line with other voices and instruments contributing to the harmony, accompaniment, and chords. The best and simplest example of this type of texture is a vocalist singing with an accompaniment of guitar chords and strumming. Another example can be a band playing with the guitarist moving towards a guitar solo.
Polyphonic
Polyphonic textures are concerned with multiple independent melodies being played simultaneously. Here, two or more melodies are played with each having an equal amount of complexity. A majority of the music played by large instrumental groups is typically considered in this category. This music texture is also referred to as 'Counterpoint'. Every melody has its own sonic range but is still in sync with the rest.
Heterophonic
Heterophonic textures can be associated with a combination of particular forms of polyphony and monophony. The voices in this type of texture vary drastically in character and have notable differences in rhythm. An example of a heterophonic texture can be a fiddle and banjo playing a melody with variations to the main melodic line. Improvisation plays a very important role here.
Like music textures mentioned above, there are many other components that you need to be aware of. Some of the more advanced forms of music textures are homorhythmic, onomatopoeic, polyrhythmic, polythematic, micropolyphony, compound, additive, and so on. These were just some basic and generic notes about music and its textures. If you are genuinely interested in learning music and being a perfectionist at it, then it is advised that you go to a music school or attend professional music classes.
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