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Texture (music)

In music, the word texture is often used in a rather vague way in reference to the overall sound of a piece of music. A piece may be described as having a "thick" texture, or a "light" texture, or other terms taken from outside of music (Aaron Copland's more popular pieces are described as having an "open" texture). The perceived texture of a piece can be affected by the number of parts playing at once, the timbre of the instruments playing these parts and the harmony and rhythms used, among other things.

There are more precise terms which describe the number and relationships between voices:

Note that there is no term which accurately describes the majority of western music made today, featuring a melody and rhythmically free accompaniment, in homophony the accompaniment is not rhythmically free and monody is often used in a historically specific way.

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