diatonic

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French diatonique or Late Latin diatonicus, ultimately from Ancient Greek διατονικός (diatonikós), in the phrase [γένος (génos, type, genus)] διατονικός (diatonikós) (in reference to the diatonic tetrachord, and in contrast to the chromatic and enharmonic tetrachords), from διάτονος (diátonos) (διά (diá) + τόνος (tónos)), of disputed etymology, as both components are ambiguous.[1]

Most plausibly, διάτονος (diátonos) refers to “stretched intervals”, as the intervals of the diatonic tetrachord are the most evenly distributed or “stretched out”, compared to the chromatic and enharmonic tetrads, which use smaller, more crowded together intervals.[2] Compare pyknon, from πυκνός (puknós, dense, compressed), referring to the lower part of the non-diatonic tetrachords: the diatonic tetrachord has widely spaced notes (“stretched out”), while the other tetrachords have a closely spaced notes (“compressed”).

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

diatonic (not comparable)

  1. (music) Relating to or characteristic of a musical scale which contains seven pitches and a pattern of five whole tones and two semitones; particularly, of the major or natural minor scales.

Antonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michaelides, Solon, The Music of Ancient Greece: An Encyclopaedia (London; Faber and Faber, 1978), pp. 335–40: “Tonos”. Τόνος may refer to a pitch, an interval, a "key" or register of the voice, or a mode.
  2. ^ Barsky, Vladimir, Chromaticism, Routledge, 1996, p. 2: “There are two possible ways of translating the Greek term 'diatonic': (1) 'running through tones', i.e. through the whole tones; or (2) a 'tensed' tetrachord filled up with the widest intervals.”

Anagrams[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French diatonique or Latin diatonicus.

Adjective[edit]

diatonic m or n (feminine singular diatonică, masculine plural diatonici, feminine and neuter plural diatonice)

  1. (music) diatonic

Declension[edit]