Chromaticism


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Chromaticism

 

the augmenting or diminishing, by a semitone, of a degree in a diatonic scale, thereby heightening the degree’s tendency to gravitate toward an adjacent degree. A chromatic semitone lies between a diatonic degree and its augmented or diminished variant. The difference between a chromatic semitone and a diatonic semitone is that the notes of the chromatic semitone belong to a single degree; thus, the chromatic semitone C–C sharp contrasts with the diatonic semitone C–D flat. Chromatic alteration is indicated by signs of alteration, or accidentals. Alteration is more common than chromaticism, since every chromaticism is an alteration, but not every alteration is chromatic; an alteration in C major, for example, may lead to the establishment of a new key. Chromatic alteration is a real change in a diatonic degree in one voice; alteration occurs when the diatonic variant of that degree is given before the altered note in another voice or does not precede it at all.

References in periodicals archive ?
Sure, acclaimed young composer-lyricist Adam Guettel and American Theatre's probing interviewer David Savran talk with great sophistication (in our lead feature, page 26) about what makes Guettel's score for the new musical The Light in the Piazza so special--its dramatic use of tension and release, its richly expressive chromaticism, its debt to classical and contemporary influences.
This strategy measures "degrees of deviance" along a chromatic slide, and this graded chromaticism seems to be based on a measure of mimetic efficacy.
It became customary to employ swifter rhythms, running figures, and diatonicism for joy, and slower rhythms, longer note values, and chromaticism for sorrow.
The Random House Dictionary seems pretty sound, if a bit stuffy, on the subject, suggesting that after originating in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century it developed "through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to, in recent developments, atonality.
It is very close to a counterpoint in which potential modal centers have no identity and the chromaticism is pervasive--a practice very similar to Charles Seeger's "dissonant counterpoint.
He sensed his mission as the bringer of a salvational musical system that would lead harmonic usage out of the dead end of tonality vitiated by excessive chromaticism.
He went on to record works by William Corbett (an English contemporary of Bach's, whose "Bizzarie Universali" is on Manze's 1993 Channel Classics release CCS 1391) and Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli (an Italian-born contemporary of all the above with a flair for unusual chromaticism and harmonic daring, on the 1994 Channel Classics release CCS 5794).
Indeed, after the chromaticism, octatonicism, symmetries and experimentation with pitch, mode, texture and timbre of works such as Machines agricoles of 1919 (p.
The preceding passage (bars 425-32) is exceptionally striking in its use of the highly chromatic musical figure passus diriusculus, particularly as the piece is almost devoid of chromaticism until this point.
The chromaticism, too, looked to Faure and Szymanowski.
Neither is it only a matter of the revolutionary chromaticism that Wagner ventured, driving tonality to its limit (as in the much-discussed "Tristan Chord"), nor of his consequent influence on the theoretical developments definitive of the second Viennese school, without which twentieth-century music is unthinkable.
His former use of intense tonal chromaticism and elaboration of signs at the limit of geometry, is enriched in these new works by the incorporation of a new symbolism, a reference to art history, and allegorical allusions.