It became customary to employ swifter rhythms, running figures, and diatonicism
for joy, and slower rhythms, longer note values, and chromaticism for sorrow.
The Random House Dictionary seems pretty sound, if a bit stuffy, on the subject, suggesting that after originating in New Orleans at the beginning of the twentieth century it developed "through various increasingly complex styles, generally marked by intricate, melodic freedom, and a harmonic idiom ranging from simple diatonicism
through chromaticism to, in recent developments, atonality.
163) Similarly, the book avoids instructing readers on differences between diatonicism
and chromaticism, to name but one musical polarity among many fundamental to this composer-giant's music.
According to Harper-Scott, in both the First Symphony and Falstaff, diatonicism
fails to overcome the challenge of chromaticism.
In Les malheurs d'Orphee, Orpheus is a Provencal villager who elopes with a beautiful gypsy girl; Euridice's Phrygian melodies and augmented seconds--the common musical lopoi of an exotic other in early twentieth-century France--infiltrate Orpheus's diatonicism
as he falls in love.