Low-energy particle production perpendicular to the event plane in three-jet events produced in Z decays in e+e− annihilation is measured and compared to that perpendicular to the event axis in two-jet events. The topology dependence of the hadron production ratio is found to agree with a leading-order QCD prediction. This agreement and especially the need for the presence of a destructive interference term gives evidence for the coherent nature of gluon radiation. Hadron production in three-jet events is found to be directly proportional to a single topological scale function of the inter-jet angles. The slope of the dependence of the multiplicity with respect to the topological scale was measured to be 2.211±0.014(stat.)±0.053(syst.) in good agreement with the expectation given by the colour-factor ratio CA/CF=9/4. This result strongly supports the assumption of local parton–hadron duality, LPHD, at low hadron momentum.