Definition of whole-tone scale in English:

whole-tone scale


  • A scale consisting entirely of intervals of a tone, with no semitones.

    • ‘The pentatonic scale, like the whole-tone scale, has attracted some Western composers as a means of expressing nationalism, echoing folk traditions, or creating special effects.’
    • ‘Also mapped to the E whole-tone scale, his ‘Prime Numbers Whole Tone Quartet ‘was determined by prime numbers expressed in base 5.’’
    • ‘Ex.8a shows the quartet's opening statement of this material and the piano's response; ex.8b shows how this relates to the whole-tone scale.’
    • ‘Even in works with relatively strong tonal centers, Debussy avoided the structural function of harmony with such devices as the old church modes, non-Germanic folk music, and whole-tone scales.’
    • ‘Open fifths, fourths and tritones, modality and whole-tone scales abound.’


whole-tone scale

/ˈhōl ˌtōn ˌskāl/