using notes not found in the chosen diatonic scale
A style of composition that makes pointed use of chromatic melodies and harmonies. A melodic passage is chromatic when it contains prominent motion by half-step; harmony is chromatic when the chord progression emphasizes voice-motion by half-step, or when the chords are routinely colored by half-step alteration of the ordinary diatonic pitches. The Romantic composers relied strongly and increasingly on chromaticism, for its ability to express intense emotion. (See also half step , semitone .) An excellent example of chromaticism is Wagner's Prelude to Tristan und Isolde. An instrument is considered chromatic when it can produce all the semitones: thus a valved trumpet is chromatic but a natural trumpet is not.
melody consisting of succesive half steps.
music built on consecutive half-steps
the use of raised or lowered notes instead of the normal degrees of the scale; chromaticism often serves to heighten the emotional tension of music
Music that highlights the use of the complete chromatic scale--the 12 notes of the traditional Western octave--and emphasizes intervals and relationships outside the "normal" diatonic patterns.
At its most basic level, the use of the chromatic scales, intervals and chords. Composers in the 16th and 17th centuries experimented with chromaticism, but it took the music of Richard Wagner to truly explore its possibilities. The intense chromaticism of Late Romantic music prompted Schoenberg to invent the twelve-note technique, which harnesses chromaticism into strict rules and techniques.