(redirected from Melismatic singing)


n. pl. me·lis·ma·ta (-mə-tə) or me·lis·mas
A passage of multiple notes sung to one syllable of text, as in Gregorian chant.

[Greek, melody, from melizein, to sing, from melos, song.]

mel′is·mat′ic (mĕl′ĭz-măt′ĭk) adj.


n, pl -mata (-mətə) or -mas
(Music, other) music an expressive vocal phrase or passage consisting of several notes sung to one syllable
[C19: from Greek: melody]
melismatic adj


(mɪˈlɪz mə)

n., pl. -mas, -ma•ta (-mə tə)
a musical phrase of several notes sung to one syllable, as in plainsong.
[1605–15; < Greek mélisma song. See melody, -ism]
mel•is•mat•ic (ˌmɛl ɪzˈmæt ɪk) adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
Overall, the singing is a combination of syllabic (one tone on a single syllable of text) and melismatic styles (several tones sung on a single syllable of text), with a substantial degree of melismatic singing especially in the early part of the chant.
In contrast to the predominantly syllabic singing of the lemambang and tukang sabak, the manang's singing style is characterized by a mixture of syllabic and melismatic singing.
It's also interesting how rich Spanish music is in its influences, sharing that decorative, melismatic singing style of North African music, as well as the tango strains that have reflected back from Argentina.
The example of kora-accompanied melismatic singing is hardly melismatic, and in fact very little of it involves any kind of singing.