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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Diatonic \Di`a*ton"ic\ (d[imac]`[.a]*t[o^]n"[i^]k), a. [L. diatonicus, diatonus, Gr. ?, ?, fr. ? to stretch out; dia` through + ? to stretch: cf. F. diatonique. See Tone.] (Mus.) Pertaining to the scale of eight tones, the eighth of which is the octave of the first.

Diatonic scale (Mus.), a scale consisting of eight sounds with seven intervals, of which two are semitones and five are whole tones; a modern major or minor scale, as distinguished from the chromatic scale.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1600, from French diatonique, from Latin diatonicus, from Greek diatonikos, from diatonos "extending; pertaining to the diatonic scale," from dia- (see dia-) + teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).


a. (context music English) Within the boundaries of a musical scale, most commonly the Western major or minor tonalities that have octaves of seven notes in a particular configuration

  1. adj. based on the standard major or minor scales consisting of 5 tones and 2 semitones without modulation by accidentals [ant: chromatic]

  2. based on or using the five tones and two semitones of the major or minor scales of Western music


Usage examples of "diatonic".

The Harmonic Heptagon provides a compact visualisation of all the consonant relationships between notes in the diatonic scale, and a trip once around the heptagon corresponds to one syntonic comma.

The lower of these two tones is represented by the printed note, while the upper one is the next higher tone in the diatonic scale of the key in which the composition is written.

In the above chromatic scales these intermediate tones have been represented by black note-heads so as to differentiate them from the notes representing diatonic scale tones.

There are many tunes where a first phrase consists of some sequence of notes played in a certain rhythm, and then a second phrase consists of the same sequence of notes transposed along the diatonic scale, played in the same rhythm.

So the question that follows is: is there a unique input value for each possible output value if we restrict input values to those vectors that correspond to intervals between notes on the diatonic scale?

L, because in the diatonic scale each octave is divided into seven different tones, the eighth tone starting a new octave) and, therefore, the ear has a range of a little over ten octaves.

The central dome of Agarttha is lighted from above by something like mirrors, which allow the light from the planet's surface to arrive only through the enharmonic spectrum of colors, as opposed to the solar spectrum of our physics books, which is merely diatonic.