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A polyphonic ringtone is a mobile ringtone capable of playing up to 40 notes at the same time and is more advanced than its predecessor, the standard monophonic tone, which plays one note at a time. The polyphonic ringtone uses sequencing technology to play several notes at the same time for rich, harmonious and high-quality sound.
A typical polyphonic ringtone is in the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) file format.
Polyphonic ringtones produce better sound quality and melodies because they emulate real instruments by combining several instrumental sounds at the same time. Comparing a monophonic ringtone to a polyphonic ringtone is analogous to comparing a woodwind instrument to a small orchestra.
Depending on make and model, a mobile device can support a range of four to 72 simultaneous instrumental sounds delivered as close approximations of instrumental melodies, or polyphonic ringtones. However, polyphonic ringtones do not produce or play original or digital sound recordings.