nounMusic , British
The smallest interval used in classical Western music, equal to a twelfth of an octave or half a tone; a half step.
- 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’.
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