I've been trying to look online for a word for this. What I mean is, for example, say a composition begins with drums, then some other instrument gets added (say, violin), then another, then yet another.

So, say, the main theme of 3:10 to Yuma (2007). The closest I could get on the web was "intensify" or "heighten" but that's not what I think accurately describes it. In fact, even the use of the word 'layered' in the question might be entirely wrong. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

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    See also: Music: Practice & Theory Good Luck. – Kris Mar 7 '16 at 14:37
  • Early results in a Google search for "lay a drum track" + layering show that the term is widely used for building up a recording, at least in the production of certain music genres. But this is not the usage you want a term for. All I can find is "... all the instruments successively join with spirited and brillant effect". – Edwin Ashworth Mar 7 '16 at 14:43
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    You might call it increasing texture – meuh Mar 7 '16 at 14:53
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    Belongs on Music: Practice & Theory -- may be a duplicate there. – Kris Mar 14 '16 at 15:01
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    Even if you accepted the single single-word answer, I feel like you already had a great answer yourself, 'progressively layered'. Single words are overrated. – Mitch Mar 22 '16 at 15:28

When instruments enter one at a time, their entrances are described as staggered.

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