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1. The use of chromatic intervals and chromatic chords.

2. A style of composing using chromatic harmony. Gesualdo in 16th cent. used advanced chromaticism. Bach's experiments in chromaticism were based on diatonic principles. The age of Romanticism explored chromaticism further because of need for emotional expression, hence the chromatic elements in Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and later works. See also atonal.