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Chromatic scale

Chromatic \Chro*mat"ic\, a. [L. chromaticus, Gr. ?, suited for color, fr. ?, ?, color; akin to ? color, ? skin, color of the skin.]

  1. Relating to color, or to colors.

  2. (Mus.) Proceeding by the smaller intervals (half steps or semitones) of the scale, instead of the regular intervals of the diatonic scale.

    Note: The intermediate tones were formerly written and printed in colors.

    Chromatic aberration. (Opt.) See Aberration, 4.

    Chromatic printing, printing from type or blocks covered with inks of various colors.

    Chromatic scale (Mus.), the scale consisting of thirteen tones, including the eight scale tones and the five intermediate tones.

chromatic scale

n. (context music English) A scale including all twelve semitones in an octave.

chromatic scale

n. a 12-note scale including all the semitones of the octave

Chromatic scale

The chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another. On a modern piano or other equal-tempered instrument, all the semitones have the same size (100 cents). In other words, the notes of an equal-tempered chromatic scale are equally spaced. An equal-tempered chromatic scale is a nondiatonic scale having no tonic because of the symmetry of its equally spaced notes.

The most common conception of the chromatic scale before the 13th century was the Pythagorean chromatic scale. Due to a different tuning technique, the twelve semitones in this scale have two slightly different sizes. Thus, the scale is not perfectly symmetric. Many other tuning systems, developed in the ensuing centuries, share a similar asymmetry. Equally spaced pitches are provided only by equal temperament tuning systems, which are widely used in contemporary music.

The term chromatic derives from the Greek word chroma, meaning color. Chromatic notes are traditionally understood as harmonically inessential embellishments, shadings, or inflections of diatonic notes.

Usage examples of "chromatic scale".

The tuning system wasn't anything so simple as a chromatic scale in quarter-tones.

Jarp turned on a recorder and Madison, moving his finger closer and closer and holding it each time he had the right note, ran the chromatic scale.

They proceeded slowly through the chromatic scale, and when the first octave was reached, harmonies began to creep in.

Their chromatic scale is different from ours, and their way of writing music entirely different.

It was like the sound of a huge horn except it had a husky hollow undertone as it swooped between _huang-chung_ and _ying-chung_, the low and high notes of the un-tempered chromatic scale.

Through the tent's loudspeakers, a live-recorded Jerry Garcia noodled up the chromatic scale, more or less, while eight male stickies in a line crossed into the center ring.

Hovering halfway between forest and sky, they flickered on and off, pulsing through a chromatic scale.

Sometimes it ran through its chromatic scale unseen and unheeded, for they remained in the house for long periods—.

The guitar bit chunks from the chromatic scale and spat them out in rapid fire without chewing them.

I decided to introduce a chromatic scale coming down on him full force with my third finger.

He recalled that once he had seen a child's modeling-clay, much-used and very dirty, of the same shade, which certainly had no designation in the chromatic scale.