Definition of microtone in English:



  • An interval smaller than a semitone.

    • ‘Oh, but only having twelve notes per octave is a distinct limitation: let's make it not only possible but straightforward to play microtones and true glissandi without loss of tone quality, just as the violin can.’
    • ‘It was at this time that he divided the scale into 43 microtones - there are 12 semitone intervals in a traditional chromatic scale - and began inventing instruments that could play his new microtonal music.’
    • ‘The vast array of techniques explored in the 20th century, the lead often taken by jazz musicians, included a wide variety of glissandos, multiphonics, microtones, expressive attacks, and mutes.’
    • ‘Fortunately, Tosatti's infallible ear could detect an ‘out-of-tune’ microtone in the midst of any situation.’
    • ‘Each track is a deliberate layering of textures and elements, with every microtone sounding as fussed-over as the sculpted icing on an elaborate wedding cake.’