diatonic

[dahy-uh-ton-ik]
adjective Music.
1.
noting those scales that contain five whole tones and two semitones, as the major, minor, and certain modal scales.
2.
of or pertaining to the tones, intervals, or harmonies of such scales.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Late Latin diatonicus < Greek diatonikós; see dia-, tonic

diatonically, adverb
undiatonic, adjective
undiatonically, adverb
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diatonic (ˌdaɪəˈtɒnɪk)
 
adj
1.  Compare chromatic of, relating to, or based upon any scale of five tones and two semitones produced by playing the white keys of a keyboard instrument, esp the natural major or minor scales forming the basis of the key system in Western music
2.  not involving the sharpening or flattening of the notes of the major or minor scale nor the use of such notes as modified by accidentals
 
[C16: from Late Latin diatonicus, from Greek diatonikos, from diatonos extending, from diateinein to stretch out, from dia- + teinein to stretch]
 
dia'tonically
 
adv
 
diatonicism
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

diatonic

in music, any stepwise arrangement of the seven "natural" pitches (scale degrees) forming an octave without altering the established pattern of a key or mode-in particular, the major and natural minor scales. Some scales, including pentatonic and whole-tone scales, are not diatonic because they do not include the seven degrees.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The student will sing a varied repertoire of songs, with emphasis on diatonic melodies.
It seems that the dulcimer has been taken now beyond its limitations, beyond its diatonic scale.
The plain chant is necessarily a diatonic unison melody.
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