From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
In music, texture is the way the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition (Benward & Saker 2003, 131), thus determining the overall quality of sound of a piece. Texture is often described in regards to the density, or thickness, and range, or width between lowest and highest pitches, in relative terms as well as more specifically distinguished according to the number of voices, or parts, and the relationship between these voices (see types of texture below) (Benward & Saker 2003, 131). A piece's texture may be affected by the number and character of parts playing at once, the timbre of the instruments or voices playing these parts and the harmony, tempo, and rhythms used.
The types categorized by number and relationship of parts are analyzed and determined through the labeling of primary textural elements: primary melody (PM), secondary melody (SM), parallel supporting melody (PSM), static support (SS), harmonic support (HS), rhythmic support (RS), and harmonic and rhythmic support (HRS) (Benward & Saker 2003, p. 136).