Polyphony (instrument)

Polyphony (Instrument)

Polyphony (instrument)

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Polyphony Instruments that are not capable of polyphony are monophonic.


Most of early synthesizers were monophonic musical instruments which can play only one note at a time, and are often called monosynth as opposed to polysynth. For example, Minimoog has three oscillators which are settable in arbitrary intervals, but it can play only one note at a time (with a timbre consists of three pitches of fixed-intervals).

Duophonic synthesizer

Duophonic synthesizers, such as the ARP Odyssey and Formanta Polivoks built in the 1970s, has a capability to play independent two pitches at a time. These synthesizers have (at least) two oscillators separately controllable, and duophonic keyboard that can generate two control voltage signals for lowest- and highest-note. When two or more keys are pressed simultaneously, lowest- and highest-note will be heard. When only one key is pressed, both oscillators are assigned to one note, and possibly more complex sound will be heard.

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Polyphonic synthesizers

The earliest polyphonic synthesizers were built in the late 1930s, but the concept did not become popular until the mid 1970s. Harald Bode's “Warbo Formant Orguel”, developed in 1937, was an archetype of a voice allocation polyphonic synthesizer, although it was not in product. Novachord by Hammond......
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