This article introduces basics of a theory of generated tone systems. It is built on an explicit conceptualization of the notion of comma and yields illuminative insights into diverse areas of music-theoretical discourse. Superchromatic and chromatic comma lattices lead to well-known just-intonation systems. On the other hand, various families of generated tone systems based on subchromatic comma lattices provide relevant models of structures found in chromatic music. They include families of triads, seventh chords, and heptachords. Special attention is paid to three families of generated heptachords leading to an attractive scalar model. The theoretical model is illustrated by analyses of chromatic passages from music by Mozart, Chopin, and Debussy.

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