Introduction to Homophonic Texture, Melody plus Chords

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Homophonic Texture

When chordal harmony is present, "homophonic texture" is created. Often in homophonic texture, there is a melodic voice and another voice or group of voices which contain chords. Whenever there is a melody plus chords, the texture is homophonic texture.

One way to remember the term homophonic is to consider its parts:

"homo" + "phonic" = "homophonic"
"same" + "sounds" = "same sounds"

Homophonic Texture consists of a melody with chordal accompaniment, or chordal harmony alone.

Melody plus Chords

The excerpt below is an example of homophonic texture because it contains a melody and chordal accompaniment. This selection is written for piano. Notice that the upper voice (the top staff) is melodic, while the lower voice (bottom staff) contains chords. As you listen, try to distinguish between the voices. Click the play arrow to hear this example.

Below is another example of a melody plus chords. Again, the top staff contains a melodic voice, but this time, the two lower staves combine to represent a single chordal accompaniment voice. Click the play arrow to hear this example.

Simple Gifts

Go on to Page 3.

Homophonic Texture
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