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 (sĕm′ē-tōn′, sĕm′ī-)
n. Music
An interval equal to a half tone in the standard diatonic scale. Also called half step, halftone.

sem′i·to′nal adj.
sem′i·to′nal·ly adv.


another word for semitonic
References in periodicals archive ?
The semitonal sigh is also central to the main motif of the "Crucifixus" of the Mass in B minor.
The setting of the first stanza, as Ravenscroft observes in the essay cited earlier, mimics the pattering of the wind in the leaves: "Fast rhythmic figurations in the wind instruments, each with its own individual speed, present sinuous chromatic passages that usually span only a third, helping to depict the swirling winds of the opening, while sustained harmonics in the cello and bass, slowly mutating through semitonal shifts, add a high whine of lament.
Rows, top to bottom: injustice, abduction, plundered, marketing, triangles, unstylish, semitonal, eavesdrop, greatness.
McCreless argues that, beginning with (and reverberating from) the 1931 Passacaglia that bridges acts 4 and 5 of Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtserisk District, the composer showed a special fondness for unprepared tonal movements between D minor and its semitonal neighbors.
Textures ranged from the chant-like unisons of antiphons by Nivers to the semitonal dissonances of our own Blow, and the flow of the whole late-night presentation was seamlessly marshalled by the enthusiastic Skidmore.
Examples of such spaces include series of equal durational values, such as eighth notes, which may be used in the construction of rhythmic patterns, or the equal-tempered semitonal pitch space.
From in-depth analysis of pertinent examples, recurring stylistic traits emerge, such as semitonal relations, third- and seventh-degree inflection, octatonic activity, tritonal polarity, sequentially treated second-inversion chords, altered Mixolydian mode (with flattened sixth) in addition to traditional modes, and multiple ostinatos, which cut across any particular phase.
Time and again, this music starts from seemingly simple gestures, unerringly placed - keening semitonal sighs and slides; violent and fractured outbursts which are then gradually calmed by stretches of glowing, tender lyricism.