(derived from Gr. chromos = colour).
The chromatic was one of the 3 classifications of Gr. scales. In modern mus. it refers to notes not belonging to the diatonic scale. They are indicated by chromatics. The chromatic scale is 12 ascending or descending semitones (sharps ascending, flats descending). chromatic chords incl. one or more notes not in the diatonic scale of the prevailing key of the relevant passage.