Chromatic scale drawn as a circle
: each note is equidistant from its neighbors, separated by a semitone of the same size.
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 are 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.
The chromatic scale may be notated in a variety of ways.
Ascending and descending:
The chromatic scale has no set spelling agreed upon by all. Its spelling is, however, often dependent upon major or minor key signatures and whether the scale is ascending or descending. The images above, therefore, are only examples of chromatic scale notations. As an abstract theoretical entity (that is, outside a particular musical context), the chromatic scale is usually notated such that no scale degree is used more than twice in succession (for instance G flat - G natural - G sharp).
- The ancient Chinese chromatic scale is called Shí-èr-lǜ. However, "it should not be imagined that this gamut ever functioned as a scale, and it is erroneous to refer to the 'Chinese chromatic scale', as some Western writers have done. The series of twelve notes known as the twelve lü were simply a series of fundamental notes from which scales could be constructed."
- The Indian solfège, i.e. sargam, makes up the twelve notes of the chromatic scale with respective sharps and flats.
The total chromatic (or aggregate) is the set of all twelve pitch classes. An array is a succession of aggregates. See also: Tone row.
- ^ a b Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.47. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0.
- ^ Needham, Joseph (1962/2004). Science and Civilization in China, Vol. IV: Physics and Physical Technology, p.170-171. ISBN 978-0-521-05802-5.
- ^ a b Whittall, Arnold. 2008. The Cambridge Introduction to Serialism, p.271. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-68200-8 (pbk).
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:11:15 -0700
One big difference between “It's My Birthday” and those Here, the entire song uses Indian chromatic scale.other tracks is that those earlier tracks used Indian samples as a leitmotif in support of what were fundamentally R&B/blues-based melodies and ...
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 07:57:55 -0700
When I present the Charlie Park book, I do a call and response that works quite well. With the Thelonious Monk book, I play the music and work with kids in a group to create a color wheel and show how the wheel can be mapped on a 12-tone chromatic scale.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:18:45 -0700
It's still early morning in Japan, and I'm pretty sure hearing a flawless chromatic scale on the mouth organ from the hotel room next door, following by some blues and tango, is the coolest way to wake up. Powers got his first harmonica as a Christmas ...
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 08:03:15 -0700
as Ricky Wilson's guitar furiously descends down the chromatic scale. These moments are, in fact, energy releases, ways to stop and rally the listener before bringing all the energy right back into that main guitar riff. If the song was the same parts ...
Killeen Daily Herald
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:33:33 -0700
... no bugles, but rather modern trumpets, the bell-front versions of the French horn called mellophones, marching baritone horns and shoulder-carried tubas — each with three piston valves, which enable every instrument to sound a complete chromatic ...
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 11:00:00 -0700
The versatility of their three-valved instruments was central to their appeal (trumpets of that era were generally valveless): the brass could span the chromatic scale and operate like a mini-orchestra. Nor should the efforts of the entrepreneurial ...
Thu, 03 Jul 2014 17:00:00 -0700
It has a more relaxed atmosphere and although he eschewed the 12-tone system, some of its first movement themes comprise all twelve tones of the chromatic scale within a narrow space. The second movement Aria has a jazz-like effect, and the Scherzo ...
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