Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Polyphony - many yet one

You read about polyphony in the last article and you are much smarter about it. Polyphonic music is used in films to act against the images on the screen. Remember, here the music itself is not polyphonic. The effect is. If the images are happy, sad music is used and vice versa. This effect is the polyphonic effect. The music needs to just oppose the emotions of the images. The viewer is made to take notice of the dichotomy of emotions. Films can also use actual polyphonic music as a standout piece. Here's an example from the remarkable film 'All About Lily Chou Chou'.

The following is polyphonic music made entirely from voices. All the different groups of voices are important; they are distinct and yet complementary. Notice the girl standing by the piano in the video and some of the singing girls laughing. This film is wicked and I think you already have an idea what's happening out here.


With the examples in the two articles, you are well equipped to identify polyphony and compare it to monophony. The effect the strategy carries is more important than the names. If you can identify, feel, then you can apply in life.

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