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Related to microtonality: polytonality, Microtonal music


n. Music
An interval smaller than a semitone.

mi′cro·ton′al (-tō′nəl) adj.
mi′cro·to·nal′i·ty (-tō-năl′ĭ-tē) n.
mi′cro·ton′al·ly adv.
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.


(Music, other) any musical interval smaller than a semitone
ˌmicroˈtonal adj
ˌmicrotoˈnality n
ˌmicroˈtonally adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈmaɪ krəˌtoʊn)

a musical interval smaller than a semitone.
mi`cro•ton′al, adj.
mi`cro•ton′al•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Microtonality and the tuning systems of Erv Wilson.
Nine works do demand extended vocal techniques, including Sprechstimme, microtonality, and pitch-sliding or vibrato variations; six direct the performer to determine organizational elements or to improvise on them.
It sees the New Jersey-born singer-songwriter fuse traditional folk with electronic beats, African, Indian and South American rhythms, while toying with the concept of microtonality - the idea music isn't formed of the 12 notes we recognise in Western music, but 43 notes, separated by tiny steps.
The third section's microtonality and slurred phrases throw the listener off balance and into a dolorous and ghastly dream; the fourth was a fractured circus waltz; and the sixth was like a thousand fireflies flitting around the room to little snippets of jazz.
The range and dynamics are standard, but the book introduces the language of microtonality along with several kinds of muting in addition to the other extended techniques found in Book 1.
REVIEW TITLE: The Gould Piano Trio VENUE: St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield REVIEW: Chris Robins RICHARD Steinitz demonstrated that microtonality, used in much new music including rocK and jazz, was not new when he programmed a Damascus Sufi ensemble and their 700 years old microtonal music at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2000.
Further, Russolo theorized the use of microtonality, defined by him as enarmonismo, a term borrowed from Pratella.
One such area is microtonality, that is, making use of pitches and chords different to those offered by our twelve-note, equal-tempered chromatic scale.
The drawing of wavy lines, generated in part from mathematical "random walks," in Cendrees (1973) not only delineates the piece's microtonality but coinci-dcntally corresponds to the walking art of Richard Long and, more recently, Tim Knowles.
To put it in somewhat anachronistic terms, if Busoni's system was an example of what we would now refer to as 'microtonality', Grainger's was more akin to what we might instead designate 'omnitonality', in which the finer gradations of tripartite tones were subsumed to the larger brush strokes of glissandi lines.
Compiled by Bob Gilmore (musicology, Dartington College of Arts, UK), the writings cover a period of about 40 years and include papers, treatises, program notes, lectures, interview excerpts, and letters, and address such topics as theory, microtonality, aesthetics and culture, the music of composers such as John Cage, Harry Partch, and Lamonte Young, and his own compositions.