I know the 12 tones make the chromatic scale ,but I have heard people call scales with more than 7 major or minor scale notes chromatic scales too. Is a chromatic scale the 12 or any scale with more notes than the major or minor scale?
Last edited by Musical Goblin at Feb 5, 2009,
As far I know, only the whole scale with all 12 notes. But I'm not 100% sure
It has 12 notes.
Originally posted by arrrgg
When my grandpa comes over to visit, after his shower, he walks around naked to dry off
The 12 notes are all consecutive, 12 straight half steps.

Example, C chromatic is:

C, C sharp, D, D sharp, E, F, F sharp, G, G sharp, A, A sharp, B
Last edited by KwikKopy at Feb 5, 2009,
its the 12 notes. but scales with more than 7 notes have a 'chromatic' or passing note in them. thus you might have confused them with the chromatic scale
Basically the twelve notes possible in our system in accending order.

Although all chromatic scales contain the same notes they are named after the note they start on, so if you start on D then you would call the scale D chromatic. However, this only really applies to when it is in scale form (eg. if you had to play it for an exam).

However, most people don't really make music using the chromatic scale the same way people do with, for example, the C major scale.

There are some composers that do though, it was used a lot by the serialist composers from the second viennese school (Schoenberg, Webern and Berg). Schoenberg tried to make sure that he used all the tones and that none were more important that each other.

His technique, which was used by his pupils Webern and Bern, was to create a tone row where no tone was repeated and all tones were used. He would then use this row and the retrograde (played backwards), inverted (instead of going a P4 up from the starting note you would go a P4 down) and transposed versions of his row to create his piece. These pieces would be totally atonal so there would be no tonal centre, or place were the music feels like it resolves.

Although lots of people like atonal music, the majority of people prefer tonal music. Lots of composers will, however, use chromatic notes (notes that are not in the key they're writing in) to make there music more instresting and, well, "fruity".
Last edited by 12345abcd3 at Feb 5, 2009,
^ bingo.

When we talk about the chromatic scale, we mean all 12 tones in a row.

When people talk about alterations to scales, they sometimes call these chromatic alterations (ie, notes from the chromatic scale inserted into X scale).

I think either you're confused about the two or your source is.