A musical interval smaller than a semitone

"Microtone" refers to pitches that lie between the traditional Western musical scale's standard intervals, with differences smaller than a half-step interval. Microtones are used to create more subtle and complex musical colors, going beyond the limitations of the traditional music scale.

The traditional Western musical scale is based on equal temperament, dividing an octave into 12 half-step intervals, each with a fixed frequency difference. However, in some musical traditions, it has been recognized that subtle variations and expressions in music can be achieved through finer changes in pitch.

Microtones are pitches that fall between the standard pitches of the traditional musical scale, with differences smaller than a half-step interval. These differences are often expressed in fractions, cents (one hundredth of a semitone), or other units.

Microtones have different applications in various musical traditions. In some cultural and traditional music contexts, microtones are used to create distinctive musical colors and expressions. Additionally, modern composers and performers frequently use microtones to create more diverse and intricate musical effects.

Microtones can be applied not only to individual notes but also to chords and scales, creating more intricate and unique musical textures. This approach to musical expression highlights the variability of pitch and holds a significant place in experimental and contemporary music.

Example of Microtone

Microtonal scale (31 tone/octave) and Harmonic Seventh Chord