chromatic scale

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Related to chromatic scale: major scale

chromatic scale,

in music: see scalescale,
in music, any series of tones arranged in a step-by-step rising or falling order of pitch. A scale defines the interval relationship of each tone to the others upon which the composition depends.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chromatic Scale


the scale of 12 semitones. The chromatic scale is regarded as a major or minor scale of passing semitones; hence the rules governing its notation: all diatonic degrees must be notated without enharmonic substitutions. In the major mode, diatonic degrees are indicated in ascending by augmenting the notes of the diatonic scale, except that a diminished seventh is used instead of an augmented sixth. In descending, the notes of the diatonic scale are diminished, except that an augmented fourth is used instead of a diminished fifth. In the minor mode, the notation of the relative major is used in ascending, and that of the major of the same name is used in descending.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

chromatic scale

Music a twelve-note scale including all the semitones of the octave
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Since the trumpets before 1814 (when valves were first used) could not produce the full chromatic scale of thirteen tones in an octave, composers of the Romantic and previous eras confined music for the trumpet to fanfares and filler type sounds.
The Schoenbergian 12-tone row (a pattern of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale used as the basis for the harmony and melody of a whole piece) is central to much atonal music, and Ross efficiently shows us how it works.
On the other end of the chromatic scale is Mechling's Daniel, a sour, impatient youth for whom the slightest human encounter is painful.
This strong color palette is based on the complementary chromatic scale, much in the way the French 'Fauvists' used them--the 'mystery' of the opposites."
ascending and descending the chromatic scale of green--
He expanded the range of acceptably small ratios from 5 to include the numbers 7, 9 and 11, and developed a forty-three note, symmetrical chromatic scale whose tones form intervals with the fundamental using ratios within this "11-limit." Partch influenced subsequent generations of American composers, most notably former students Ben Johnston, who has further expanded the range to include prime numbers as high as 31, (3) and Lou Harrison, an especially outspoken advocate of just intonation who is well known for the justly tuned non-European instruments and scales he frequently uses in his music.
At their edges, meters of algae magically brim in chromatic scale from yellow to red to black as temperatures lessen in trickling overflows.
Everything Means Nothing To Me is virtually just Smith singing the title to a chromatic scale, but it's this simplistic songwriting and sweet vocals that work so well.
Wood thrushes can conform to the familiar Western diatonic scale; canyon wrens come close to the more complex chromatic scale, and hermit thrushes sing with the pentatonic scale of traditional Asian music.
Their choice of a colour palette subtly shifts one's emotional responses, turning a romantic tale into something cooler as the film progresses: warm browns and reds for Italy, the dark hues of the monastery and music master Poussin's chambers in Austria, cooler greens and yellows for British virtuoso Frederick Pope's estate, blues and earth tones appropriate for China during its Cultural Revolution, and a severely reduced, matter-of-fact use of the chromatic scale for the auctioneering scenes in contemporary Montreal.
The novel--filled with references to The New Atlantis; the Pythagorian theory of numbers; the chromatic scale; the kabbalistic reading of the Old Testament as gematria--does not ever become a dull encyclopedia; it is, indeed, a moving narrative of fathers and sons, of "accidental" deaths, of "the very thing that happens" (Edson's mysterious, ordinary phrase).