3.10 The chromatic scale


<span">Category: Harmony | Tags: Scales


In this chapter you will learn about the structure of the chromatic scale. You’ll also learn how to play the chromatic scale on the piano.

1. What is chromaticism?

Chromaticism, (from Greek chroma, “colour”), is the use of notes foreign to the scale upon which a composition is based. Chromatic tones in Western art music are the notes in a composition that are outside major and minor scales.

2. What is a chromatic scale?

The chromatic scale is a scale entirely made up of half steps. To play chromatic scales on a piano keyboard, you must play all the white keys and all the black keys in order, one after another. A chromatic scale is comprised of all twelve notes within the octave.

Ascending, the chromatic scale is written with sharps.

The chromatic scale
The chromatic scale ascending is written with sharps.

Descending, the chromatic scale is written with flats.

The chromatic scale
The chromatic scale descending is written with flats.


3. The chromatic scale played on the piano



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The fingering of the chromatic scale.

note example

piano example