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a. Relating to colors or color.
b. Relating to color perceived to have a saturation greater than zero.
2. Music
a. Of, relating to, or based on the chromatic scale.
b. Relating to chords or harmonies based on nonharmonic tones.

[Greek khrōmatikos, from khrōma, khrōmat-, color.]

chro·mat′i·cal·ly adv.
chro·mat′i·cism (-sĭz′əm) n.


(kroʊˈmæt əˌsɪz əm, krə-)

chromatic musical style.


the use of the chromatic scale or chromatic halftones in musical compositions. Cf. diatonicism.
See also: Music


[krəˈmætɪsɪzəm] n (Mus) → cromatismo
References in periodicals archive ?
Certain forms, he notes, have always had a great hold on the mind, possessing an imperishability that cannot be explained by pure chromaticism or continuity (Journals, p.
This sense of secure centeredness was weakened in the late 19th century by the increasing use of chromaticism (pitches outside the major or minor key in force), and decisively challenged in the early years of the 20th century by a number of factors: the use of new scales derived from ethnic music; impressionism, which treats chords and dissonances very differently than in the system based on major and minor; bitonality (simultaneous use of two keys); unpredictable beat patterns; and especially atonality and dodecaphony, both of which avoid any sense of key center.
The trademark restless chromaticism in the lower strings rose to exciting crescendos while Francomb convincingly shaped tone and phrase from the song-like andante to the invigorating finale.
491 in '48 the obsolescence of whose vinyl corps adds exercising inexplicitness with every surface flaw upon the scale unloosing chromaticism from its lock to waver gently out into the air of a new planet treading shakily or as a lamb will wobble on the grass so this cadenza lacked all certainty other than that belief which bears us up from one step to the next before we think how to fall over into earth or drink))))))
But, if two such particles approach one another, they will be either attracted or repulsed from each other because of van der Waals forces caused by their residual chromaticism and polarisation.
the world of magic (usually connected with chromaticism as an autonomous system, such as in the work of Wagner and Rimsky-Korsakov).
Instead, he begins with the fact that Anglo- American literary modernists tended to be ill-informed about chromaticism, serialism, and twentieth-century art music more generally.
However, most jazz, including modal jazz, is diatonic music; that is, within the structure of the jazz standard, as well as the blues, there is almost always a return to the tonic, even in the chromaticism of bebop (Kofsky 262-64, 280, 317; Heble 32-33).
It became customary to employ swifter rhythms, running figures, and diatonicism for joy, and slower rhythms, longer note values, and chromaticism for sorrow.
Chabrier's dissonances, in anticipation of those of Debussy and Faure, are often unprepared and unresolved, while his use of chromaticism and exotic rhythms and scales, particularly in his Spanish-influenced pieces, was novel.
The Random House Dictionary seems pretty sound, if a bit stuffy, on the subject, suggesting that after originating in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century it developed "through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism through chromaticism to, in recent developments, atonality.
The inflected melisma of the cadenza seals Lelia's sexuality, for its chromaticism is traditionally linked with wickedness and sexuality in the Renaissance.