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adj. Music
Of or using only the seven tones of a standard scale without chromatic alterations.

[Late Latin diatonicus, from Greek diatonikos : dia-, dia- + tonos, tone; see tone.]

di′a·ton′i·cal·ly adv.
di′a·ton′i·cism (-ĭ-sĭz′əm) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the use of the diatonic scale of five whole tones and two halftones in the composition of music. Also diatonism. Cf. chromaticism.
See also: Music
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(The progression I mean here is after the modulation to E major, where we hear I--[ii.sup.6.sub.5]--[N.sup.6]--[V.sup.7]--I.) Though a deviation from the immediate sense of diatonicism, the Neapolitan chord here highlights an extremely important tone already presented earlier in the movement.
Ekwueme suggests that diatonicism (scale systems similar to the Western major and minor scale) existed in Africa before the arrival of missionaries (Ekwueme 1974: 52).
The music of "the Second Viennese School", which included composers Arnold Schoenberg and his pupils Anton Webern and Alban Berg, created a seismic shift in the western tradition of classical music, moving away from diatonicism and towards heterodox terrain in tonality and form.
Diatonicism is abandoned and the chromaticism from the introduction is employed once again, which increases the intensity of the music as line four of the poem (mm.
The most salient traits of Kapral's style are unexpected modulations, flexible diatonicism (mainly major/minor oscillations) and modality, employment of ninth, augmented and fourth chords, quasi improvisations, a penchant for repetition of the motif in various harmonic, dynamic and other connections, finales in pp, brilliant piano stylisations with spread chords in the left hand and use of extreme positions of instrumental playing.
Glinka's supporters were baffled, however, by the composer's next nationalist opera, Ruslan i Liudmila (1842), which abandoned the musical unity of A Life in favor of a mix of styles and replaced the folk stylizations of the earlier opera with West European diatonicism. The two operas polarized a younger generation of composers: Petr Chaikovskii and Rubenshtein united behind A Life, while the more nationalist-minded composers of the so-called Moguchaia kuchka (Nikolai Rimskii-Korsakov, Cesar Kiui, Modest Musorgskii, Aleksandr Borodin, and Milii Balakirev) lined up behind Ruslan.
Chapters are devoted to recent techniques including free diatonicism, serialism, and indeterminacy.
(34) The negative responses to Del Tredici's so-called 'neo-Romantic' music complained that its 'sentimental statement only comes across as a gross overstatement', (35) and that it has 'collapsed into simpleminded Victorian diatonicism, melodic banality, and excess ...
Instead, Rooke repeats the last phrases of the B section text as the count tries to wander chromatically but is called back to the diatonicism and broken chord accompaniment of the A section (mm.