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melisma

play
noun me·lis·ma \mi-ˈliz-mə\

Definition of melisma

plural

melismata

play play \-mə-tə\
  1. 1 :  a group of notes or tones sung on one syllable in plainsong

  2. 2 :  melodic embellishment

  3. 3 :  cadenza

melismatic

play \ˌme-ləz-ˈma-tik\ adjective


Origin and Etymology of melisma

New Latin, from Greek, song, melody, from melizein to sing, from melos song


First Known Use: circa 1880


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