Definition of chromatic in English:

chromatic

Syllabification: chro·mat·ic
Pronunciation: /krōˈmadik
 
/

adjective

1 Music Relating to or using notes not belonging to the diatonic scale of the key in which a passage is written.
More example sentences
  • The musical style is full of charming melodies and a lightness of touch, a predilection for woodwind, simple diatonic writing contrasted by more chromatic and coloratura writing for the heroic and virtuous characters.
  • Although the piece is indebted to lush, late - 19 th-century chromatic harmony, there's something classical about the ambience of Fauré's soundworld.
  • Though you hardly notice it, the melody, beginning with its hook, is highly chromatic, and the harmony constantly mixes the major and minor modes in a way surprisingly reminiscent of Schumann or Brahms.
1.1(Of a scale) ascending or descending by semitones.
More example sentences
  • Inconveniently for composers, birds don't limit themselves to the chromatic scale, or to the confines of a straightforward metrical scheme.
  • Below is the chromatic scale, both ascending and descending.
  • Both of these pitch standards define what are called ‘equal tempered chromatic scales.’
1.2(Of an instrument) able to play all the notes of the chromatic scale.
More example sentences
  • The nineteenth century added some mechanics to the beast to allow it some ability to play sharps and flats and to modulate, but it's still not a chromatic instrument, and since at least Wagner, music sings mainly chromatically.
  • The record was by a group that has since faded into obscurity, The Harmonicats, three Chicagoans who played chromatic harmonicas.
  • 18th-century basset horns had two basset keys, for D and C, but by the end of the century the instrument was fully chromatic.
2Of, relating to, or produced by color.
More example sentences
  • In the hands of the Latin American magical realist, Gauguin's story has been transmuted into a lush story of frenzy, in vivid chromatic colours.
  • In the experiments described in the last two sections, we purposely made achromatic intensity unreliable, to prove that moths used the chromatic aspect of colour.
  • But when chromatic lights or colouring substances are mixed the eye sees only one colour and does not analyse out the components.

Origin

early 17th century: from French chromatique or Latin chromaticus, from Greek khrōmatikos, from khrōma, khrōmat- 'color, chromatic scale'.

Derivatives

chromatically

Pronunciation: /-ik(ə)lē/
adverb
More example sentences
  • It is useful to consider chord/scale relationships when playing chromatically, so that you can deliberately choose a scale that will increase tension, and then resolve it by returning to an expected scale.
  • All the varieties of blackness chromatically echo modern women's lifestyles, the pursuit of progress and breakthrough.
  • ‘In the Middle of the Night, Something or Someone Is Under the Bed and I Decide to Look’ is a wonderfully descriptive piece that consists of chromatically rising rhythmic effects within one long crescendo and accelerando.

chromaticism

Pronunciation: /-əˌsizəm/
noun
More example sentences
  • However, Campbell too performed some wonderful jazz work, illustrating some of the challenging chromaticism and irregular syncopation with which jazz music is synonymous.
  • A visit to North Africa inspired his interest in Islamic culture, which surfaces in the exotic chromaticism of the Hafiz and Muezzin sets.
  • In the opening bars of ‘O liberty’, for example, the added clarinet and bassoon seem to clutter the music with extraneous chromaticism, contradicting what is suggested by the movement of the bass.

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Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
adjective
turned backwards