Definition of semitone in English:

semitone

Line breaks: semi|tone
Pronunciation: /ˈsɛmɪtəʊn
 
/

noun

Music , British
  • The smallest interval used in classical Western music, equal to a twelfth of an octave or half a tone; a half step.
    More example sentences
    • Smaller intervals were derived on the same principles, so that the octave could eventually be marked out into tones and semitones which might be combined to form other intervals.
    • The subject is almost all semitones, this time expressing yearning and anticipation, rather than sorrow.
    • I remember being particularly horrified at the drop of a semitone on the word ‘Dona’.

More definitions of semitone

Definition of semitone in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody